We recently partnered with HR Executive to discuss how to “Drive employee engagement with predictive analytics.” Our agenda included discussing driving employee benefits engagement, how leading companies are tackling this problem today, and how we address the challenge with Castlight Action.
Today, benefits teams face a major challenge in educating and motivating employees to make better healthcare decisions. According to AFLAC, 73% of employees don’t understand their benefits. Furthermore, many do not comprehend basic elements such as “co-pay” or “maximum out-of-pocket.” This knowledge gap exacerbates the very real challenges arising from surging healthcare costs; the end result is that employers are struggling to provide competitive benefits programs in a way that meets their employees’ needs.
The good news? There are several tactics that are working today, and innovative companies are finding ways to motivate employees to take greater initiative in their own healthcare benefits management. Some of the most effective initiatives that leading companies are using are:
Segmenting employees to provide tailored messaging
Leveraging technology to access health information and care
Framing your message to what resonates with employees
Making accessing benefits easy
Providing just-in-time support
That all said, it requires a huge effort to execute the above strategies on a larger scale. It takes significant time, resources, and data to identify the appropriate employee segments, figure out what communications approach would be most effective, and ultimately, evaluate how well you did.
That’s where our approach to employee engagement in benefits come in. Castlight Action is an automated predictive insight and engagement solution that ties together various companies’ best practices into a single solution that benefits teams can easily use to proactively segment employee populations. Benefits teams are enabled to run turnkey campaigns and engage employees with real-time benefits guidance.
Throughout the discussion, we were excited to see how much Castlight’s Action solution resonated with benefits leaders as a way to address many of the everyday challenges they’re facing in their organizations. A lot of great questions arose from the live audience — questions around how Action works and the benefits it can provide that we think many of you out there probably have too, so we’ve decided to answer them all in the Q&A below.
In your example of back pain, how did you know that the employee was experiencing back pain? Are you consuming healthcare claims to know this?
Yes, Castlight Action utilizes medical and pharmacy claims information and then uses that data to determine if someone has a medical condition, such as back pain. We also incorporate other data sources such as Castlight search data and demographic information in our predictive models to help proactively identify people who may fall into different segments. While the solution incorporates this information into its algorithms, employers will not be able to see the protected health information (PHI) of any member. Action aggregates the insights and segments them into an employer dashboard using a methodology that prevents users from deriving any PHI.
What size organization benefits most from using this type of product?
Castlight Action is designed to benefit all types of organizations, regardless of company size. Action has the ability to provide real-time and personalized recommendations to any member covered under an employer’s health plan. It has the potential to guide a member’s healthcare decisions – whether they work in a large or small company.
How does the Action platform tie into Castlight transparency? Is this a standalone product?
Castlight Action is an extension of the Castlight platform and its transparency capabilities – it’s not a standalone product. Action relies on the core Castlight platform to collect mindshare (search) data and deliver recommendations directly through the Castlight application that employees use.
What percentage of your current client base is utilizing Action?
We are making Castlight Action available starting this January 2016, and as of the end of Q3 this year we had five fortune 500 customers using the solution. In general, there is a widespread interest and excitement about Action across our customer base.
How does Action segment populations into subgroups?
Within each opportunity family, Castlight Action segments an employer’s population into more granular groups. For example, back pain would segment into topics such as new pain, ongoing pain, and at-risk for surgery. Our clinicians and data scientists have defined each of these segments through a combination of evidence-based medicine and data-driven analytics. After we’ve defined the segments, we then use machine-learning techniques to develop predictive models for each segment. Action uses the predictive models and applies them to an employer’s population, and can then group each employee into the appropriate segment.
Does my company have to be self-insured to use Action?
Today, our customers are principally self-insured employers. However, companies do not have to be self-insured to use Castlight. Castlight Action can add value to both self-insured and fully insured employers.
Where do you gather the data specific to the organization’s employees?
We work with both employers and health plans to collect the data needed for analysis. We work with all major health plans to access claims information. We also receive an eligibility file that contains demographic information on employees from the employer. Castlight Action is configured and tailored to each employer.
Are dependents also considered a target audience? If so how is the communication relayed or given to the end user?
Yes, dependents are considered a target audience. For dependents under the age of 18, the parent may receive communications about their dependent for non-sensitive and culturally appropriate conditions. For example, Castlight may send recommendations around preventative care and health and wellness, but will not send pregnancy-related recommendations to the parent. For dependents age 18 and over, they are eligible to receive communications directly from Castlight through email, mobile, and in the Castlight application.
If someone is a member of more than one cohort, and a campaign is started for each, will they be receiving multiple emails on the same day?
No. If someone is grouped into multiple segments, Action will consolidate recommendations into one email tailored to that member. In addition, members will not receive an email more than once every other week to prevent email fatigue.
Can employees receive multiple personalized postcards on their dashboard if they are at risk for several different medical conditions?
Yes, in the Castlight application employees can receive multiple personalized recommendations if they fall into several opportunity segments. When delivered through email, the recommendations will be consolidated into one email and tailored to the member.
Can I edit the email content for the campaign and personalize it?
Employers cannot edit the content of the recommendations sent by Castlight. Any adjustment in wording could significantly affect the sensitivity and effectiveness of a recommendation. Every set of content delivered from Action is designed to be personalized and relevant to the member based upon the individual’s condition, demographic profile, and medium of communication. Each piece of Action’s content undergoes over 40 hours of sensitivity testing to make sure that Castlight’s communications are not invasive or insensitive. However, Action can promote an employer’s vendors in context of a recommendation. In those cases, Castlight will work with the employer to determine the messaging.