A doctor sharing medical results on a digital tablet with a patient.

New Technology, Data Practices Aim for Improved Health Outcomes, Reduced Costs  

Six in ten Americans are living with a chronic condition. In addition to being the leading causes of death and disability, did you know that treating chronic diseases accounts for 86% of U.S. healthcare costs, or $3.8 trillion in spending annually?  

While not all chronic diseases are preventable, there are certain factors of our lifestyles like tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol consumption that can lead to many chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes, among others. That means with tools like early intervention, education and supports, more Americans could lead healthier lives, leading to reduced costs to the health care system. 

With the rapid development of technology in health care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is quickly adapting to better understand these factors that lead to chronic conditions and how they impact member health outcomes. With the establishment of the Analytics Center of Excellence, our goal is to use this data to provide education, prevention measures and more that will, in turn, drive better health outcomes with the added benefit of decreased costs.  

An example of how data and these outcomes correlate may be in the instance of an individual who is visiting a provider and presenting with chronic knee pain and limited movement; this and other indicators may increase the probability the member may need knee surgery at a later date. With data capabilities that flag these early warning signs, Blue Cross could provide education and other early supports that may improve the member’s health and improve the member’s experience as they navigate treatment options.  

We are hopeful that this investment in the power of analytics will lead to predicting health risks, cutting member costs and offering more personalized health care and guidance-always with what is best for our members, customers and providers at the core of what we do. 

Photo credit: Getty Images

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