Cigna® delivers affordable, quality care to 95 million global customers through commercial health, dental, life, accident, and Medicare and Medicaid insurance products. Cigna relies on data from across the organization and from its Collaborative Care program to achieve its business goals of “better health, better affordability, and better experience for patients and providers,” said Paul Van Dorpe, Business Analytics Director at Cigna.
In 2017, the company implemented Tableau as the visual analytics platform for its 550 Cigna Collaborative Care partner organizations in 32 U.S. states. Using Tableau, Cigna’s analytics team reviews financial transactions, customer and provider data, creates meaningful reports, and shares them with partnering providers so they can offer better, more affordable patient treatment. After completing its 2018 survey of providers titled “CCC Reporting Portal and Registration Process Survey,” 41 percent of respondents indicated that they use the quarterly reports more frequently to understand patient history, diagnoses, and treatments. The reports help them determine who to follow up with for appointment reminders and when, and provide information for brief health updates, medication compliance reinforcement, and post-surgery recovery documentation.
Tableau provided Cigna the flexibility to securely integrate multiple data sources with its existing data infrastructure and offer governed reports to Collaborative Care partners. To date, this has resulted in $145 million in medical cost savings, and annual per-patient savings of $120. With Tableau, Cigna also supports internal analysts who synthesize healthcare costs and data from more than 140,000 physician partners, helping keep the quality of care standards high for its 95 million customers.
We build relationships with our Accountable Care Organization partners by delivering new tools and reports that enable them to focus on what’s really important—the health and well-being of their patient population.
The power of data really comes from harnessing so much information, finding what is truly actionable, and distilling it into insights that will be the outcomes and measures we can directly tie to actions.
Analytics help providers reduce opioid prescriptions by 25 percent
Opioid misuse and addiction is a national public health crisis that adversely affects social and economic welfare. More than 100 people die from overdoses, daily, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that the economic impact of prescription opioid misuse in the US is $78.5 billion per year derived from healthcare costs, lost productivity, and treatment. Unfortunately, a serious issue arises when primary care physicians, who are unaware of patients’ treatment by other providers, write opioid prescriptions for patients who have not been identified as at risk for opioid misuse or abuse.
In collaboration with Collaborative Care partners, Cigna hypothesized that existing data could be used to better control opioid delivery. This led to the creation of the Opioid Drug Utilization report in Tableau that filters by number of patients treated per provider, the number of prescriptions written, their duration, and by date filled. The report incorporated both patients that the provider is contractually obligated to manage, as well as other patients (e.g. patients without primary care providers), since misuse and addiction reaches beyond those patients within their contractual obligations. As a result, providers now have a view into which patients are at risk or fall outside of CDC guidelines.
With this comprehensive view, Cigna provider partners decreased opioid prescriptions by 25 percent—a goal that was met earlier than planned—and Cigna now has a goal to reduce overdoses by 25 percent in key markets during the next two years. Tableau will track progress in quarterly reviews as they take action, and these efforts dovetail with the U.S. Surgeon General’s “Turn the Tide” pledge and the CDC’s opioid prescribing guidelines.
Dashboard adoption positively impacts population health
To ensure comprehensive stakeholder support, Cigna implemented two Tableau Server instances: one geared for internal analysts and management who offer consultative services to ACOs and another that is directly accessed by ACOs in the reporting portal. The analytics team monitors dashboard performance across the servers to identify training opportunities, look for areas where design changes may help adoption, and monitor how specific reports influence use.
This detailed evaluation wasn’t possible before Tableau. “We didn’t know if people used or ignored them, and how fruitful they were. Now we can track individual dashboard utilization to users and connect population health performance to how strongly providers made use of our reporting solutions,” stated Paul. As previously noted, Cigna learned that 41 percent of respondents use the quarterly performance dashboards more often thanks to Tableau’s visual format. “In fact, one of our ACO clients in North Carolina told us that the ‘more detailed, practical reporting shows us specific ways to reduce costs.,’” Paul explained.
Now we can track individual dashboard utilization to users and connect population health performance to how strongly providers made use of our reporting solutions.