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Using Personal Financial Data to Improve Healthcare

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   November 28, 2017

Using such data as a source of social determinants of health information can boost the accuracy of population risk predictions.

It’s no surprise when your mailbox is full of credit card offers or coupons and catalogues from your favorite stores. After all, it’s fairly common knowledge that credit reporting agencies like Experian and Equifax (which recently made headlines for a massive data breach) provide your purchasing data to companies for direct marketing purposes.

But what if healthcare providers could tap into that data too? How might it be added to claims and clinical data to better predict population health risk?

That’s exactly what Mission Health Partners, Mission Health’s Medicare ACO, has been doing for the past six months or so, augmenting patients’ clinical records with other data that can reveal lots of insights about their lifestyle. It’s working with value-based care solutions company Lumeris, which gathers data from those agencies, populates it into Mission Health’s patient records, and uses it to create a score that evaluates the risk—from low, medium to high—for ACO patients to end up in the hospital or ED.

Instead of using that data to sell products, “we’re using it to help improve health,” says Michael Cousins, PhD, chief analytics officer at Lumeris.

The idea that such data could help improve health and reduce healthcare utilization relies on the notion that social determinants of health are some of the most critical factors in patient outcomes.

Just a name and address—without even being seen by a provider—can reveal a lot: Someone’s transportation and housing situation, vacations, marital status, lifestyle habits, and whether they pay bills on time. When combined with claims and clinical data, this information can help determine whether a patient might need extra clinical support.


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Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.

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