HCF looks to extend health management platform

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HCF looks to extend health management platform

Uses analytics to identify members at risk of hospitalisation.

Health insurer HCF is looking to expand an online health management program that has allowed it to identify and proactively advise members at risk of hospitalisation over the past two years.

The My Health Guardian program was launched in 2009 and described by HCF as a $100 million effort to support members looking to improve their physical and mental health.

In a submission to the iTnews Benchmark Awards, HCF chief information officer Patrick Shearman said the free service had attracted 22,000 users from HCF’s total member base of more than a million.

He said the insurer hoped to extend the program to more users as its analytics capabilities improved, noting that it helped members stay out of hospitals and reduce the cost of healthcare.

HCF has been upgrading its IBM analytics platform since August, in a move expected to speed analytics processing times by a factor of up to 1000.

"Some reports that were running in four hours now run in seconds," Shearman told iTnews. "The platform will improve [My Health Guardian] by speeding up our reporting and gathering of analytic insights on participating members.

"This enables us to communicate with our members more quickly, and to provide more insight when doing so."

My Health Guardian, developed in partnership with telehealth company Healthways, targets issues such as weight loss, smoking habits, blood pressure and cholesterol.

It is supported by a range of backend systems – including claims processing and analytics engines – that have been upgraded and integrated incrementally.

The program is linked with health insurance claims and membership data. The associated analytics platform also is used to detect fraud and improve HCF’s decision making processes.

“A significant number [of users] have improved their health, staying out of hospital,” Shearman said. “The number of members requiring hospitalisation has reduced.”

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