Today we’re excited to announce a partnership that will greatly enhance what we’re doing to help employers and employees get more out of their healthcare. We’re launching a pioneering initiative with Aon, who leads the way in professional risk management and benefits consulting for employers, and MPIRICA, a healthcare quality company, to roll out an innovative new offering that profiles who offers the lowest cost, highest quality healthcare across cities and regions in the U.S.At Amino, we’ve been focused on bringing more transparency to the industry through convenient and useful products that have helped, to date, millions of consumers and employees make smarter healthcare decisions. Now we’re excited to put our expertise to work more broadly to give employers not only the tools to guide their employees toward better care, but also unprecedented insights that can impact strategic decisions about the healthcare they purchase for their employees.
Empowering employers with newfound insights
Benefits teams at nearly all companies are tasked with keeping healthcare spending low while making sure their teams get effective, safe, and affordable care. That is no small feat when they are stuck in the middle of a rapidly evolving market driven by increasing provider, insurer, and ecosystem consolidation. Despite decreasing utilization of healthcare services from 2012-2016, spending among those on employer-sponsored health insurance consistently rose between 4 to 5 percent per year, according to the Health Care Cost Institute. The trend shows no signs of stopping unless employers and consumers take more control over how their dollars are spent.
As evidenced by the recent news cycle around the Amazon, J.P. Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway alliance as well as a decades’ worth of other experiments, employers are trying to get creative with solutions and strategies to address their needs. This requires the right kind of data, and lots of it. Amino’s unique database of near real-time claims data, representing 220 million Americans, $1.8 trillion in spending, and hundreds of thousands of providers in the U.S., fits the bill and can reveal which providers and hospitals charge more for common procedures, surgeries, and services. Layering in MPIRICA’s data provides an even richer analysis around hospital quality, which isn’t correlated with cost.
While their employees often don’t know the cost of an MRI until the bill comes, employers are also commonly faced with paralyzing darkness when making strategic decisions. These include trying to understand the value of the networks they’re choosing, the procedure- or diagnosis-level waste they might be able to recover with targeted solutions, and the true cost of building an office on one side of town versus another (where nearby hospitals may be three or four times cheaper). In many ways, employers are much like the consumers who work there: without transparency, no meaningful change in how much we pay is possible.
Insights + guidance = savings
With the announcement of this partnership, Aon will be leveraging Amino’s national, episode-level cost estimates to help employers understand just how much variation exists for specific procedures, at different providers, within their regions. Benefits teams can then apply these new understandings to inform investments in products, services, networks, and education that can make a profound difference in their employees’ healthcare experience and both parties’ annual spending.
In fact, we at Amino have been hard at work in the past year building a suite of features that are already guiding employees to best care thanks to:
- Easy to use care search and booking with doctors, hospitals, imaging centers, urgent care, and more
- SmartMatch, our way of guiding employees to the safest and most cost effective care
- Cost estimates and deductible tracking, individualized to employees’ plans
- A modern health savings account for high deductible plans, seamlessly integrated into the other features
At Amino, we spend a lot of time trying to highlight the hidden “rules” of the healthcare system for consumers: when possible, go to urgent care instead of the ER; freestanding imaging will often be more cost effective than hospital imaging; understanding that not all providers within a specialty have the same kind of experience, etc.
What’s exciting to us about this partnership is the opportunity to examine these same rules in the context of more strategic benefits decisions in ways that can multiply the cost-saving effects for millions of Americans.