February 4 2021

Independent study shows healthcare spend savings for Accolade clients

By Carolyn Young, Chief Actuary and EVP Engagement, Accolade

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In the opening days of 2021, the independent consulting group Aon delivered the results of a study examining the impact that Accolade’s service had on the healthcare spending trends for self-insured employers that purchased Accolade services in 2018 and 2019. 

You can download the full study here . But we also wanted to highlight some of the key takeaways for our audience here. Before we do, though, it’s worth taking a brief look at how this study was conducted.

To conduct their research, Aon’s actuarial team reviewed multiple years of anonymized claims and prescription data for 6 employers using Accolade to help their members navigate the healthcare system. Employer size ranged from 2,000 to 70,000 members, and analysis covered the first year of Accolade services for four employers, and the first two years with Accolade for the two remaining employers. These populations were compared against an exact matched control group made of 3 individuals for every one Accolade member with the same demographics, geographic region, exact set of conditions, and comorbidities. 

Accolade helped employers control healthcare spends

For the populations that implemented Accolade in 2019, Accolade’s customers had a 0% trend vs the control group’s 8.3%. The populations that implemented Accolade in 2018 had a 2% annualized trend as compared to the control group’s 6.1% trend.  

Employers had significantly lower healthcare claims costs after implementing Accolade. Spending improved against the market control group for every customer in each year with Accolade. 

Accolade delivers healthcare savings to self-insured employers fast

Customers in their first year with Accolade went from spending more than their peers in the control group to spending less. In the year prior to Accolade’s implementation, these employers spend was 5% higher than similar companies in the control group. After one year working with Accolade, they were spending 3% less than employers in the control group. Costs for these customers were $590 PEPY higher than market pre-Accolade and after one year with Accolade they were $432 PEPY lower than market.  

Accolade’s healthcare spend savings are sustainable over time

Aon also examined two employers whose relationship with Accolade was already two years old. In the first year, these employers went from spending 5% more than their control group peers to spending the same as them. The savings continued strong into year two, with these employers lowering healthcare spend further and spending 3% less than their control group counterparts. 

These customers costs were $469 PEPY higher than market pre-Accolade and after two years with Accolade they were $311 PEPY lower than market which demonstrates savings are achieved in year one and beyond.

Accolade helped reduce healthcare spend for members across the board

These savings were in evidence for members regardless of factors like age and health conditions. Whether a member has no existing conditions or is living with four or more chronic health issues, or is a high-cost or low-cost member, Accolade made it less expensive to provide quality healthcare that met that members’ needs. Accolade also demonstrated savings across members with many different conditions, including traditionally costly to treat conditions such as mental health, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular issues.    

We hope you’ll take the time to peruse the full Aon study and learn more about the all the ways that Accolade can help you get your team the right healthcare at the right time, while controlling price for employers. And if you’ve still got questions, our team is more than happy to answer them – just reach out!