Melissa Campbell, benefits manager at American Century Investments, explained that KC2 empowered employers to analyze health and claims data and to refocus healthcare benefits to meet the particular needs of their employees.
Most of American Century's employees are in their mid-40s so the company wanted to create a suite of prevention services to "catch problems early and treat them cheaply," said Campbell The company was able to convince its health plan to remove the age barriers for preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies. "We believe it is up to our employees and their doctors to decide when they need a mammogram or colonoscopy."
She added that utilization of services has increased—63% of employees used preventive services in 2001. "Our employees know we want them to have a doctor, get their annual check-ups, and know their biometric numbers like blood pressure."
Data assessment includes more than 100 metrics such as blood pressure and cholesterol rates, explained Sara Poage, vice president for the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care. The goal is to find out where the costs really are. Obesity, for instance, wouldn't necessarily show up in claims data, but would become more obvious through a review of biometric data.
While there was some initial pushback from health plans in providing the data companies needed to implement value-based benefit design, those issues were eventually resolved. "Providing better information directly to employees, enables them to make better health decisions, resulting in better health overall," said Tony Sun, M.D., medical director for United Healthcare Heartland States.