Keas, which provides health benefits management, created Health Hub to help benefit plan sponsors unify their benefit offerings—including health assessments, incentive management, wearable devices, tobacco cessation programs and cancer screenings, among others—to streamline employer’s management and to fully engage employees.
The platform eliminates administrative overhead for HR and benefits departments, and drives utilization of existing health benefits that might be going unused.
“The irony of reducing waste and improving the health of the employer-sponsored population for over 100 million Americans is that it’s not a health problem, but rather a marketing and IT problem,” says Josh Stevens, chief executive of Keas. “The techniques used to solve the health care engagement dilemma must come from consumer marketing and IT professionals who can simplify and streamline the employer-sponsored health experience.”
Health care, health incentives and health administration costs American employers about $1 trillion annually, according to Keas, adding that 70% of this figure is preventable. The waste stems from poor health behavior and administrative waste. Keas Health Hub assists employers in reclaiming their health spend and optimizing the health of their employees by solving their universal “big 4” challenges: disjointed health benefits rollout and communications, low benefits utilization and engagement, incentive compliance, and fragmented reporting.
The return on investment (ROI) can be quantified in five ways, Stevens tells PLANSPONSOR. The first is employee productivity, which Keas defines in two ways: the time it takes employees to understand and actually use benefits—often measured in terms of abandonment, since they go unused when they are too confusing—and in unscheduled paid time off (PTO). “The healthier and happier employees are,” Stevens says, “the less last-minute, unscheduled PTO days they take.”
Human resources (HR) productivity is a gain, Stevens explains. When a firm rolls out a number of benefits as separate entities and programs, the ensuing email campaigns, forms and feedbacks can overwhelm a busy HR department.
Rolling all the programs into the Keas platform saves administration time, Stevens says. Instead of 12 vendors, with reports, rollout times, communications and incentive compliance for each, the platform streamlines and removes some of the complexity from multiple benefits.
Benefit utilization is another ROI, Stevens says, noting that every employer with a dozen vendors has low engagement with the different pieces. “It’s a self-inflicted reality,” he says. “If you roll out 12 different things, you’re going to get one-twelfth of the engagement.” Stevens maintains that integration of benefits connects the dots and drives up engagement for participants.
Once participants begin taking advantage of the health benefits, the company will start to see lowered costs from health risk reduction. Using customer relationship management, Keas builds a loyalty program for health benefits into the platform that sends automated reminders to participants.
Stevens maintains that plan sponsors will see reduced claims costs within three years. It is not immediate, because it stems from increased usage, which needs time to produce results in terms of improved health.
“The last five years have resulted in an unprecedented wave of innovation in health IT, health benefits, and health care policy reform,” says Raul Mujica, vice president of products at Keas. “Self-insured employers must navigate a highly specialized suite of health benefit vendors, complicating and fragmenting the experience for both employer and employee. This has driven health benefits engagement to an all-time low.”
The cost of the platform is $3 per member per month. “It’s solvable without magic,” Stevens says. The key is creating a better experience, which can be done once you know how to measure the benefit. The roadblock is having, say, a dozen vendors, without any integration. When systems are fragmented, it’s difficult for participants to take advantage of the offerings.”
Keas, in San Francisco, is a provider of health management services. More information about Keas and Health Hub is at Keas’ website.