Published by Cheryl Duane on July 15th, 2019

On a fundamental level, data and analytics are the tools we use for storytelling. Reporting in data and reporting in journalism are fundamentally the same: we figure out what are the important elements of the story, we double-check the facts, and we deliver valuable information to our audience in a useful format. At Trustmark Health Benefits, we have decades of experience in parsing out data in order to deliver useful, actionable analysis to our clients and make solid recommendations for how they can improve the return on their investment in employee benefits.

Our Analytics Help Clients

In helping employers reach their specific business goals, we rely on accurate data and reporting to tell us, and the client, if what we are doing is working or not. As a third party benefits administrator, we offer much greater data transparency to our clients. And, unlike many of the large carriers in the industry who are protective of sharing detailed data, we empower our clients to make the most informed decisions possible regarding employee benefits. Through benefit modeling, we can walk the client through the possible impact of specific plan changes. We can compare trends in their own population to aggregate data from our entire pool of clients and members, and to national benchmarks. For example, we can look at network utilization rates and make recommendations for ways to mitigate out-of-network costs. We can also use analytic tools to predict if the client will benefit from adding options such as telemedicine or cost and quality transparency tools. We share insights and empower clients with actionable information—drawn from medical, pharmacy, clinical, and lifestyle data—to help our clients save on costs while improving member health whenever and wherever possible.
Through our reports and analyses, we not only inform our audience of performance trends, we also provide actionable intelligence that can be used by clients, brokers, vendor partners and our internal customers to make informed decisions regarding the effectiveness of the services we provide. Being able to dissect a client’s data to determine the best overall solution for a client is exciting. We can address each client’s unique needs by combining cost effective plan design solutions with easy access to a variety of provider networks and delivery models and programs that encourage informed member choices.

Data Matters

At Trustmark, we take a holistic approach to diving into the data. We look for trends, for opportunities where we can support populations and improve overall health. For example, while researching steadily increasing claim costs for a client, my team once discovered that the trend was largely due to an increase in cancer treatments. By looking into the data, we were able to zero in on one segment of the population working at one location, and the client was then able to investigate to find possible causes and make changes to protect the population. Fortunately, a scenario like this is rare, but it shows the power of using data to discover what is driving high claim costs and identify opportunities to implement programs geared toward improving the health of a specific population.
Data does not always tell us what action to take, but it arms us so we can determine which way to investigate further. Moreover, as we continue to identify additional opportunities to use data, we also seek out new and better tools to help us improve our ability to deliver better, more valuable analysis for all our stakeholders.