It was a pleasure to be asked recently by Microsoft and Pyramid Analytics to present information to HIMSS on how I’d deployed Pyramid at Blue Cross of Idaho and in my current position as Business Intelligence Manager at St. Luke’s Health System.
HIMSS is the Health Information and Management Systems Society, a group focused on information technology within the health care industry. HIMSS is a cause-based non-profit that provides thought leadership, professional development, and events such as this webinar.
There were three main requirements we had for a BI solution at Blue Cross of Idaho: security, ease of use, and data discovery. We had both internal users and external large employer groups who needed access to our data, in multiple locations and with varying needs, so role-based security was important.
Pyramid Analytics met our need for a system with sufficient security to control access to both the data and the content while deploying to remote users across multiple states. It has web-based access, so doesn’t require software installation. The nice thing about Pyramid is that you can have various data sources. You can easily slice and dice and pivot, and then export the data. Using the point and click cross-drill functionality, we were able to analyze data on the fly for improved health care and reduced costs.
In the webinar, I walked through two examples.
In the first example, we discovered that health care claim costs increased dramatically in a particular location. With a few clicks, we found that the cost increase was incurred at a particular facility in California that was charging high out of network and out of area costs. We discovered they were being reimbursed 100% for plastic surgery services that should not have been covered. A quick drill-down into the data showed that the facility was not actually licensed for these services. This discovery triggered a fraud investigation that led to the facility being shut down.
The second example concerned improving patient health. We set up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for a large employer group, and one of the KPIs was cost per hospital admission. The data showed a sudden dramatic increase for hospital admissions. We drilled into the data and discovered these costs were due to group members with diabetes going to the emergency room for out of control diabetes and then being admitted to the hospital. This employer did not offer health management services to their employees, so we worked with them to roll out population health management and member education, which allowed those members to get their diabetes under control and not require hospital stays.
While I was at Blue Cross of Idaho, I had a staff of three and relatively pristine data. We deployed Pyramid Analytics in about a week. We didn’t need much help from IT and we didn’t have to increase staff. It is very easy to deploy, and the web-based interface was easy for our users to navigate, because it is similar to Microsoft Office. The underlying data models are important, and once deployed the system is easy to use. All users have the ability to create reports using the data they have access to, based on their assigned user roles.
Using Pyramid Analytics, we had reduction in health care costs and increased patient health. For the full webinar and a demonstration of how we used Pyramid Analytics, register to view the free webinar here.
Trish Redgate is the BI Manager at St. Luke’s Health Systems.
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