Friday, August 14, 2020

How to Reduce Costly Healthcare Spending

In a post-COVID world, strategies that effectively manage healthcare spending are more vital than ever before.

In 2018, the National Alliance and Benfield conducted their 2018 Employer Pulse Survey on Healthcare System Waste. What they discovered is shocking and unsettling: about one-third -- $750 million -- of all money spent in healthcare is wasted. While employers believe this waste to be a problem, not enough companies realize the enormous impact that this has on their bottom line and even fewer have a meaningful strategy for reduction.

So, what can be done? How can this problem be resolved? As the nation transitions back to “normal” operations, what can companies do to reduce waste, beef up their bottom line and stay focused on the health of their employees and their business.

Comprehensive healthcare waste is defined as “procedures and treatments that are overused, have limited effectiveness, and/or are redundant.”

This graph breaks down the category of “wasted spending.” Image courtesy of Consumer Reports.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 85 percent of the waste that is generated by healthcare is related to:

  • Medical imaging
  • Specialty drugs
  • Prescription medications
  • Clinical tests

Employers acknowledge that healthcare spending waste is an issue that affects nearly every industry in the world, however, more than 60% of companies do not collect and analyze waste-related data. As testing for COVID-19, diagnosis, treatments,therapies and rehabilitation are becoming more prevalent, companies must take a hard look at claims data to ensure that their population is using the proper resources and utilizing the right facilities for care. Specifically, looking at the use of telemedicine and ER vs Urgent care utilization can have an enormous impact on healthcare spend.


For clients looking to reduce pharmacy spending, a thorough review of employee and dependent data allows Innovu to measure the utilization of more than 400 drugs. Through a combination of data and clinical methodologies, population specific alternatives are suggested which ensure no adverse effects on patients and no clinical prescription change. On average, Innovu identifies drugs with between 70%-90% disparity in pricing, saving companies thousands of dollars in drug costs. Alongside these recommendations, the Innovu team can offer suggestions for other types of pharmacy savings, ranging from employee incentives, to Rx vendor and formulary changes.

Innovu’s platform and flexible dashboards mean that companies can get a 360 degree view of their total healthcare spend. Innovu Field Analytics teams work with the Healthcare Advisor to help organizations assess areas of waste and identify vital areas where incredible cost savings can be found. The first step to reducing wasteful spending is to understand the root cause of the waste. From pharmacy, to treatments and to overage dependents, identifying the sources of financial drain is essential to plugging the holes and moving forward with a comprehensive savings strategy.

Innovu’s reputation as a leader in healthcare analytics and data analysis provides a unique ability to target solutions that will benefit companies now, as they transition back to work, and in the future. For more information on how to identify savings solutions and unlock valuable strategies for long term ROI, contact Now more than ever it is important to get a handle on wasteful spending and focus resources on getting back to the business of business.

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