Is Springbuk the silver bullet for employers to reduce healthcare costs?

Photo by Maurizio Laudisa
Health analytics platform Springbuk got its name from a variation of “springbok,” an, agile African gazelle or antelope that is quick and maneuverable.

Half of the U.S. population is covered by employer-based health insurance and wellness programs. The Kaiser Family Foundation says it comes out to about $725 billion spent on 150 million people, including employees, their spouses and dependents.

It can be hard to make sense of things when the numbers get that big. One thing’s for sure; costs are increasing. According to a report last year by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health, companies are spending 61 percent more today on health and wellness  incentives than they did just five years ago.

Who cares the most about finding ways to reduce the rising costs of healthcare in our country?

America’s business leaders are at the top of that list. More specifically, it’s wellness vendors, human resources pros, and other front-line personnel who see first hand the dramatic impact employee health has on the company’s bottom line.

Unfortunately, recognizing the problem isn’t even close to half the battle when it comes to health and wellness.

The complexities businesses face  — such as the sheer volume of data, siloed sources, and inconsistent formats — when trying to identify cost-cutting measures that could also help employees improve their health are daunting at best, and paralyzing for those who lack the resources or understanding to tackle such a complicated problem.

One small, angel-funded software start-up with 23 employees in Indianapolis says they have the answer businesses are looking for to reduce healthcare costs and improve employees’ health while doing it.

Springbuk, a health analytics platform, unifies mountains of data generated by a company’s workforce — data like medical claims, pharmacy, labs, dental, biometrics, wearables, workers compensation, disability, vision and payroll information — and turns it into a decision dashboard that’s designed with non-medical, HR users in mind.

Meet Springbuk from Healthiest Employers on Vimeo.

The software’s predictive modeling engine allows users to forecast their company’s overall healthcare spending,  identify at-risk employees, and uncover costs that will occur in the future.

Springbuk was built upon years of insights from 6,000 “Healthiest Employer®” awards program participants nationwide, including 72 of the Fortune 100 companies. The Healthiest Employer® awards were created by Springbuk’s founders in 2009 and remain a wholly owned subsidiary. In total, the data collected represents 60 million employees or about one-third of the U.S. working population. The software also receives data feeds with nearly 250 major sources, including UnitedHealthCare, Anthem, Aetna, and ADP.

Rod Reasen

Rod ReasenCo-Founder & CEO

“The health and wellness industry is where marketing was many years ago,” said Rod Reasen, co-founder and CEO of Springbuk. “Marketing used to be about spraying messages everywhere and making adjustments when you find out down the road that something is or isn’t working, but technologies and data made one-to-one marketing possible.

“It’s the same with health and wellness today. Employers don’t always know what’s working or not when it comes to improving employee health and lowering costs. Springbuk gives them a real-time way to measure and adjust, and to know which programs to implement or which vendors to work with for a credible return on their health and wellness investments.”

Dealing with historic data that gets trotted out once a year is one of the biggest pain points Springbuk’s software addresses for employers. The typical spreadsheets are too laborious for HR professionals who are not statistically or clinically trained to use effectively, and it’s often too late to have an impact on employee health when using lagging  data.

Priced on a per-employee-per-month model,  Springbuk presents the data in an easy-to-use dashboard that’s up-to-date and takes the guesswork out of the process. The software shows employers where to spend their health and wellness dollars for the largest financial return and they can use the information to do a better job of forecasting future spending.

If a company has a population of workers with diabetes who are missing work and spending more than usual on diabetic healthcare interventions, for example, the tools available through Springbuk will help employers identify the types of disease management programs and  wellness vendors to use. While the employer may not know which employees have diabetes due to HIPAA regulations, they will be able to track whether or not the new disease management programs focused on diabetic care are working to improve employee health  and reduce diabetic intervention costs.

Since it’s public launch in January 2015, Springbuk has raised private funding and a co-investment  from Elevate Ventures. Springbuk has signed more than 300 customers in 25 states. The sales focus is currently mid- to large-sized employers, but the total addressable market is made up of about 40,000 targets including employers, on-site clinics, brokers and wellness vendors.

Rod Reasen

Phil DanielsCo-Founder & EVP Marketing

“We expect to grow our annual recurring revenue by triple digits in 2016 because our software is at the heart of company healthcare decisions that reduce rising costs — in a recent case study with Indiana-based Hillenbrand, Springbuk identified an 18 percent reduction in medical  costs within specific segments of their population,” said Co-founder Phil Daniels.

“Financial benefits aside, Springbuk helps employers prevent disease and improve the health of their workforce, which means better lives, a healthier community, and a stronger bottom line.”

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Springbuk

CATEGORY: Analytics, Healthcare Technology CITY: Indianapolis

Springbuk is a health analytics tool that simplifies employer data into a single warehouse for 1:1 engagement and predictive insights.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349