How Indie is using data analytics to drive better healthcare

The term “data analytics” is used a lot these days, but unless you work in the field, you probably don’t know what the term means or fully understand its purpose.

So, what exactly is data analytics, and how can health insurers like Independence Blue Cross (Independence) use it to make informed and innovative decisions to drive better healthcare?

You can’t manage what you can’t measure

Data analytics, in its simplest definition, is the science of identifying patterns in data and gaining insights from it. One of Independence’s primary goals for using data analytics is to enable company leaders and stakeholders to make transparent, verifiable, and robust evidence-based decisions.

This involves using to help:

• Identify and clarify patterns in data

• Identify trends and changes

• Validate the next best action to achieve the desired change

In short, you can’t manage what you can’t measure; but with reliable data, analytics, and metrics, it’s easier to make smarter decisions.

Redefine healthcare delivery

These decisions are helping Independence in the company’s


to improve the health of the community.

“Independence has a long history of serving our community and we are committed to creating a better healthcare system for all,” said

Mike Venera
Independent Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

Data analytics is playing an increasingly important role in how independently helping to redefine healthcare delivery to improve our region’s healthcare system. It influences how quality-based decisions are made at every level to ensure care is fair, effective, affordable and simple.

With insights from reports, dashboards, trends, benchmarks and descriptive analytics, Independence can use information from the past to plan for the future. Going a step further, companies can use this information to answer questions about trends affecting health outcomes and health equity.

The organization can also use

predictive modeling
which can highlight the relationship between events and problems, and can help predict future outcomes and events.

For example, Independence can create models to predict future hospitalizations and readmissions, the onset of diabetes, and the likelihood of high-risk pregnancies — issues that affect communities of color at a higher rate — to help

Reduce racial health disparities

and improve health outcomes.

Combination of talent, technology and method

Advanced analytics has the potential to be used in many different areas of healthcare. These range from clinical and operational research to clinical decision support, population health management, fraud prevention and assessing the effectiveness of specific programs.

For an organization like Independence to benefit from analytics as part of its improved healthcare delivery, it must have the right resources, including talent, technology, and analytics.

It is also important to continuously adjust processes to accommodate new information and improve decision-making. Analysis should be viewed as a continuous improvement process, not a one-time event. At Independence, this means ongoing collaboration and engagement with suppliers, customers and members to drive change that promotes equitable, whole-person health.

Breaking down barriers for health equity

Healthcare analytics is an exciting field with many topics to cover. Over the next few months, we’ll explore how data informs the work Independence does.

The organization will delve deeper into topics such as risk stratification, customer and supplier reporting, advanced analytics, how to detect bias in algorithms and how to use data to break down barriers to address racial health disparities to achieve

health equity

This article was originally published in

IBX Insights

About Ravi Chawla

Ravi Chawla is Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer at Independence Blue Cross. His team develops valuable business reporting insights and models to better serve Independence clients and members. Mr. Chawla has built a forward-looking, adaptive and innovative organization. His team consists of analytics solution architects who develop custom analytics for clients in the clinical, marketing, product, contract and consumer sectors. He holds an MBA from Wayne State University, a Master of Science from the University of Vermont at Burlington, and an undergraduate degree from India.

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