I love how quickly technology propels us all forward. Ten years ago, talk of the cloud was confined to weather reports, or when you played that game where you point at clouds and name what objects they look like. 

Now, cloud technology is helping us with everything from increased data security to managing and delivering benefits.

According to Bethesda, Md.-based WellNet Healthcare Group, “cloud-based technology is revolutionizing the health benefits space by allowing unprecedented levels of collaboration among employees, employers and healthcare providers,” says Keith Lemer, WellNet president. The firm recently inked a partnership with software developer Healthcare Interactive to manage health benefits for all of HCI’s nearly 300 clients in a cloud-based environment.

According to the CDW 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll (who knew such a poll existed?), less than one-third of health care organizations use the cloud to power their operations. But this small group of companies has been able to generate big savings — an average of 20% each year.

Definitely something to consider come renewal time, no?

Cloud technology, Lemer says, allows plans to “deliver in-depth analysis of … employer clients’ health care data without compromising patients’ privacy — and then implement proven solutions to help them slash their health expenses. Employers are quickly seeing that cloud-based analytics are far more cost-effective than conventional site-based approaches.”

So, what do you think? Is your carrier in the cloud? Is a plan’s use of cloud technology something that would strongly influence you in making health benefit decisions? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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