Aon Tool Quantifies Impact of Social Determinants of Health

It recommends solutions for improving the health of employees who live in disadvantaged communities.

Aon has unveiled an interactive model that quantifies the impact of the social determinants of health on employer workforces.

The Health Disparity Assessment is designed to help employers identify employees at risk, measure health disparity within their workforces and recommend solutions to improve the health of employees who live in disadvantaged communities. The tool uses de-identified demographic and location data on employee populations and dependents covered by the employer’s health plan, combined with an index that rates potential health disparities driven by social determinants, including local income, education, employment and housing factors.

The membership and area disparity profiles are combined with machine-learning algorithms that estimate the prevalence of common chronic conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders. The tool quantifies the impact of social determinants on service utilization such as emergency room visits, pharmacy scripts, preventive care and mental health care. Employers can compare their member impact distributions against broad employer market data based on Aon’s Health Value Initiative, a database of employer health care cost, plan design and demographic data.

“Living in a disadvantaged area has been linked to higher rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma, and our data suggest employees in those areas often underutilize high-value services such as preventative care, mental health care and vaccinations,” says Todor Penev, senior vice president of health analytics for Aon. “We are helping employers rapidly map the health risks their employees face based on demographics and recommending high-impact prevention, risk reduction and vendor strategies to address the unmet health needs of specific populations.”

Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO, Business Group on Health, previously told PLANSPONSOR that employers are acting to better inform and educate their workforces to encourage employees to take care of their health.

“They are making sure individuals go back to routine screenings, immunizations and physicals that might have gotten put on the back burner,” she said. “Because if employees don’t, there is a concern there will be bigger health conditions down the road.”

The Health Disparity Assessment is part of a suite of solutions Aon is building to address diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workforce. Other solutions in the suite include:

  • Health Equity Monitor, which examines claims-based social determinants of health analytics;
  • DEI Opportunity Analysis, which reviews benefits against emerging DE&I trends;
  • DEI Program Engagement Analysis, which reviews engagement by population segment to identify differences in value derived; and
  • Benefit Design and DEI Point Solution Evaluations, strategy development for family-building benefits (e.g., infertility treatment, fertility treatment, fertility preservation, adoption, surrogacy/gestational carrier and fostering) and solution implementation for transgender equity.

“We will utilize these tools with employers to help them make better decisions that improve the health status and lower medical plan costs for a diverse U.S. workforce,” says Shelly MacConnell, vice president of health solutions for Aon.

More information about Aon’s health solutions is at