Using Data for Insight into Key Health Levers

By Murray L. Harber and Matt Ginn

Big data, little data, meaningful data, focused data, you name it and it’s being discussed. As we continue to unfold the algorithm of employer health, we continue to battle inertia, negative forces, and environments with limited access to data and limited interpretation of the data when it is presented. Most companies and human resource professionals have a long way to go to be truly integrated with data.

Results in Outcomes and Impact

Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company has taken a data-driven approach since implementing their employer health strategy back in 2007. Since then, they have built a best-in-class system which supports and promotes healthy habits as choices that are readily available. They have used data every step of the way to build a program which is valued, successful,  and industry leading for a company in the south.

SFBLI has assessed and updated their campus in a variety of ways to encourage healthy behaviors and promote well-being. The newest renovations includes a multi-purpose room for health, wellness, and well-being activities and events along with upgrading the café with more focus on healthy options and choices. Additional programs have continued to be created for target populations such as metabolic conditions of overweight, obesity, and diabetes.

SFBLI contracts with Vigilant Health to analyze their claims and clinical information to support benefit changes and to design specific pathways for value-based care. Vigilant Health also manages the SFBLI onsite health clinic which is made up of a care team based model of Internal Medicine Doctors, a Nurse Navigator and a Nurse Practitioner. The care team uses the data to engage SFBLI plan members into the right care at the right time and at the right place. All of the strategies that SFBLI has put into place has helped them go from limited reserves to over $3 Million.  

   “As we advance the management of both our employees’ health and the cost of providing health insurance, data analytics is the next big step. With an onsite clinic, wellness program and strong third party administrator, we see the ability to collect data on health issues ( using non-identifiers/ HIPAA compliant collections) as the next evolution of preparing for the wave of health issues that will be high cost drivers in the future.

   The ability to use this data to address the big cost issues that are coming will allow us to be ahead of the curve in managing our program. The data must be relevant, accurate and timely but this can be very powerful in providing quality and cost effective health programs”

Billy Sims, Senior Vice President
Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company

Multi-Employer Data Registry

The Mississippi Business Group on Health has been working for several years to create its own data registry for its participating members. The aim is to build a resource where employers can assess their health plan using a population health framework and be able to benchmark areas with other participating companies. Participants can use the information to develop new benefit designs and develop programs to engage plan members into appropriate high quality providers and systems of care.

The members of the Mississippi Business Group on Health are helping to improve the health of the state of Mississippi by educating, collaborating, and bringing together all partners in the care system – the plans, the providers, and the employers. To learn more about membership and upcoming learning events, please visit The MSBGH also collaborates with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Business Journal on the Recognized Healthy Employer (RHE) initiative and the 2017 Healthiest Workplace Awards. We encourage all employers in Mississippi to complete the RHE survey and submit an awards application for the Healthiest Workplace awards.

There are many great innovations being created and promoted in Mississippi and they all start with data. Using data and making it actionable is the key too building successful value-based solution for any health plan and specifically employer-based plans. Employers want to moderate the increases in their health spend but they really want more value for the current money invested into this valuable employee benefit. Data is here to stay, so we need to continue to build transparency and use data in a meaningful way. Together, we can improve the health of Mississippi employers while improving the quality and reduce the cost of health and well-being programs.

Page30 Photo Murray Harber

Murray L. Harber, Executive Director, Mississippi Business Group on Health

Page30 Photo1 Matt-Ginn

Matt Ginn, Manager, Communication, Training and Health Promotion