Value of Health Navigation: Outcomes that Matter for Benefit Investments

With over 80% of employers indicating increases to health and wellness spending this year, employers have accelerated adoption of digital health tools to control rising costs and increase employee engagement with available benefits. As reliance on these solutions increases, it is critically important to ensure that employers can reliably and meaningfully measure the value of the investment

While financial return is essential, it is not the only metric of total value.  Realizing value on investment requires high employee engagement as well as changing the health and wellness behaviors of the covered population. This means it’s critical that these efforts are evaluated holistically. 

Through developing shared goals with our Castlight Complete customers, we have established a comprehensive framework for measuring value delivered: the platform must engage and delight employees, drive behavior change, and, ultimately, produce financial return. This is measured through six value outcomes to validate value with real, tangible results. These metrics include Platform Engagement and Employee Experience (“engage and delight employees”), Appropriate Care, High-Value Provider, and Program Utilization (“drive behavior change”), and Medical Cost Savings (“produce financial return”).

Will it engage and delight our employees?

Platform Engagement refers to the activation and ongoing use of the Castlight Complete platform and is measured by registration rates and monthly active user rates.  Without engagement, we cannot drive other results–this is the key foundation of our value framework.   

To date, engagement with Complete has achieved a 61 percent registration rate and 38 percent monthly active user rate, outperforming engagement rates of typical health apps that show an average retention rate of just 15 percent after only 30 days.

Employee Experience is a measure of user satisfaction. We look at a mobile Net Promoter Score (NPS) to understand our users’ overall experience with the Castlight Complete platform. 

Our product team is focused on creating a delightful user experience for employees, and we continuously evaluate NPS to inform ongoing product enhancements.  With Complete, we have received positive feedback on user experience, with a mobile NPS score of 75. That compares to an average mobile app NPS of 30.

Does it drive behavior change and improve healthcare outcomes? 

Appropriate Care, or Right Care, refers to the platform’s ability to guide employees to the best next step in their care journey through evidence-based recommendations, whether that be closing a gap in care or avoiding unnecessary care. 

Our personalization engine identifies individuals in different target segments and recommends specific calls-to-action to those users, driving a 1.5x-2x increase in utilization of preventive services across several condition categories including diabetes, back pain, and colorectal cancer. Additionally, 38 percent of Castlight users had a preventive office visit compared to only 25 percent of non-users.  

High-Value Provider, or Right Provider, refers to the platform’s ability to match users to high-quality, low-cost providers. Surfacing quality and price data enables Complete users to make more effective healthcare choices.  

Castlight has made an impact on driving users to the right providers by steering away from unnecessary Emergency Room (ER) utilization.  Across the risk spectrum, employees using Castlight utilize the ER roughly 25 percent less than those not using Castlight. As a direct result of Castlight’s proprietary quality scoring, employees on the platform had 15 percent fewer inpatient days per year. Additionally, users who search for healthcare services with Complete spend 11.6 percent less on MRIs and 12.6 percent less on lab tests.  

Program Utilization refers to employee participation in the health and wellness programs offered by an employer. Specifically, we measure both the number of program views and the completion of key actions within the health and wellness programs. To better understand our impact, we asked our program partners to share their average engagement rates without Complete in place.  

When compared against these benchmarks, Complete drives 1.4x -2.4x higher engagement.  As an example, when it comes to activity tracking, such as inputting daily step count, the baseline benchmark engagement rate is 29 percent of users engaging with steps tracking, while Complete drives an engagement rate with activity tracking tools of 58 percent.  

Will it produce a financial return? 

Finally, measuring our customers’ Medical Cost Savings as compared to their investment in the platform is paramount for our customers who continue to see their bottom line impacted by steadily growing healthcare spend, which is why we are proud to offer an ROI guarantee. One year of results have demonstrated that Castlight Complete helps customers achieve an overall medical cost savings of 1.4 percent on average. For customers with 20,000 employees enrolled in their benefits plan, this can equate to $2 million in savings annually.

Our customers have invested in Castlight Complete to drive higher employee engagement, improve healthcare outcomes, and lower healthcare costs. To validate the value on investment, it is essential to measure all six of these value outcomes–Platform Engagement, Employee Experience, Appropriate Care, High-Value Provider, Program Utilization, and Medical Cost Savings. Understanding the importance of achieving results, Castlight will continue to evaluate our performance across these value outcomes to ensure we deliver value to our customers and their employees.