Steel Dynamics cuts healthcare expenses with data transparency tool

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Domestic steel producer and metals recycler Steel Dynamics Inc. reduced the medical costs for its 18,000 employees and dependents by 1.5% with the help of a health navigation platform from Castlight Health.

According to Castlight, SDI saved $870,000 in medical spending in 2017.

“With Castlight, we were able to boost employee benefit engagement and reduce costs – saving both employees and the company money,” says Eric Record, well-being and benefits leader for SDI, which is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

So far, 86% of the steel firm’s employees have enrolled with Castlight and 50% say they would sign up for the platform again.

Castlight’s Care Guidance and Complete tools act as a central hub of health and benefits options that employees can log in, choose among their coverage options, and receive a personalized experience. Its data transparency tools deliver medical pricing information and advice for healthcare to subscribers, who can access the cloud-based solution online.

SDI’s data shows that employees and their dependents who used the Castlight platform saved money compared to workers who have not signed up for the voluntary program.

“We are seeing a pretty decent return on investment,” says an SDI spokesman.

ROI is a mission for Castlight, which claims that its customers saved an aggregate of $286 million in 2017. This analysis was conducted with a subset of Castlight’s more than 200 employer customers, specifically those using its Care Guidance product, says Gil Potter, vice president of analytics at Castlight.

Castlight is offering an ROI guarantee to new clients at a time when healthcare costs are rising. To find those savings, Castlight partnered with healthcare data analytics firm Verscend Technologies to apply its risk-adjustment models for analyzing savings based on an employer’s healthcare claims data.

“Verscend’s models, collectively known as “DxCG Intelligence,” are used by the nation’s largest health insurers, commercial and Medicare Accountable Care Organizations, and reinsurance companies, and have been documented as top performers by the Society of Actuaries,” according to Castlight.

Other Castlight clients include Activision/Blizzard, Nielsen, and Kraft Foods Group, which saw a 9% reduction in healthcare costs.

Pierce Graham Jones, Castlight’s senior vice president of growth, says employers are able to save money because the platform’s first goal was to steer employees to options that would provide the “highest quality and lowest cost programs.”

He adds, “The second is to make sure they avoid unnecessary healthcare expenses.”

Castlight also looks for gaps in employees’ care. “We offer preventive services that they should consider. For example, it reminds a male over 50 that they need to have a colonoscopy,” adds Jones. “The system makes it easy and provides a personalized experience.”

On the employer side, the cost-saving varied from customer to customer depending on a variety of factors. "We found that having a candid conversation with each customer about their benefits strategy helps us find the best way to drive engagement, which can help them save money," says Jones.

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Data transparency Healthcare costs Healthcare benefits Healthcare industry Health data Benefit management Benefit strategies