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The NetMinder Blog

Estimating Network Disruption

Posted by Laura McMullen on Fri, Mar 18, 2016

Network disruption is an important consideration to an employer group planning to change insurance plans. People are attached to their doctors. A 2014 Becker’s Hospital Review/Survey Monkey survey asked people “how much they would have to save on premiums to choose a plan that forces them to change their primary care physician. The median response was a savings of $100 a month, but some people would ask for a lot more, including 28% who would want to save at least $200 a month.” 

That’s why disruption reporting is an integral part of many negotiations. Part of the plan selection process for large groups or self-insured groups is to run a disruption report using past claims experience to estimate savings in the proposed plan. But what do you do when you don’t have the claims data for a formal disruption report?

Using the Network Overlap report to evaluate disruption is a great option for smaller groups where the decision timeline is short and claims data unavailable.

disruption_graph.pngWhat does the Network Overlap report show?

This report compares two networks side-by-side, providing total, overlapping, and non-overlapping counts for each of the two networks by geographic area and specialty. ZIP codes with high overlap percentages will have less disruption than ZIPs with high unique percentages.

How does it work?

Upload your file using the UPLOAD ZIP CENSUS option in the geographic scope selection box and make the rest of your choices as usual to get started.  Running this report with custom census geographies simplifies your analysis:

  • Understand disruption for all employees in the same report. All of the ZIP codes in the file will be included in your report – even if they are not all in the same state.
  • Clarify network access in and around home and work locations. The report will return for the networks and specialties you select in the counties that contain the ZIP codes in the census file. For example, if 33433 and 33313 are in your census, the report will show Florida as the state and results in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Be sure to subtotal your report by ZIP5 to see the results for each ZIP code separately.

There aren’t too many opportunities to sell health insurance to a company that isn’t currently offering it to their employees. Demonstrating minimal network disruption can be the difference between a successful takeaway and a lost bid.

How do you estimate network disruption for current and prospective customers?

Tags: health insurance, disruption reporting, network change, ZIP codes and cities, network overlap, network disruption

Including employee census data in your network analyses

Posted by Laura McMullen on Thu, Jan 15, 2015

Employee censuses are the heart of the group insurance business. Sales and underwriting teams use them during the sales process, enrollment portal credentials are established using them, and billing and eligibility files are subsets of these lists. Another common use is network accessibility analyses to determine how many providers are within a standard distance.

To take accessibility analyses a little farther, consider including NetMinder reports in the underwriting process to see where you have network advantages and disadvantages for a specific employee population. When you are a finalist for a group, there’s usually only one or two other competitors to evaluate. For some cases though, it’s worth it to compare to a larger group of competitors early in the process to give your team the best possible chance of winning.

To make this analysis easier, we recently added the capability to run NetMinder reports using your client’s employee census to select the geographic area you want to analyze.

Upload your file using the UPLOAD CUSTOM CENSUS option in the geographic scope selection box and make the rest of your choices as usual to get started.

custom_zip_1

Custom_Zip_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using custom census geographies has these benefits:

  • Your network comparison will include all of your client’s key areas and match up easily with other analyses.
  • All of the ZIP codes in the file will be included in your report – even if they are not all in the same state.
  • You can use custom census geographies with any NetMinder report – summary or detail. The report will return counts or details for the networks and specialties you select in the counties that contain the ZIP codes in the census file. For example, if 33433 and 33313 are in your census, the report will show Florida as the state and results in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

How do you match employee censuses with competitive network data?

Tags: market comparison, data analysis, insurance companies, network comparisons, ZIP codes and cities, Custom Geographies, NetMinder new features

When Is a City Not a City?

Posted by Laura McMullen on Wed, Mar 26, 2014

One of the most common questions we get from NetMinder users when they run reports comparing provider networks in specific cities is why aren’t there any providers in ______________? (Fill in city name here.)

Often the reason is that the client’s definition of a city is different than the preferred US Postal Service definition. That’s why, to ensure you always get apples-to-apples comparisons, we base the city designations in NetMinder on the USPS preferred city designation. 

  • Cleveland is a good example. There are a number of ZIP codes in Cleveland that have both preferred and acceptable city names. See list below:

Cleveland zips resized 600

  • Here’s a screen capture from www.usps.com for zip code 44118 for an example of preferred and acceptable city names.

Cleveland preferred

So, what can you do when you’re running a NetMinder report to avoid this problem? The best thing to do is to run your report at the ZIP code or MSA level. Those geographic areas are more firmly agreed upon than city names. MSA, or Metropolitan Statistical Area, reports can be helpful in this situation because city names are included in the name of the MSA, i.e. CLEVELAND-ELYRIA, OH. If you choose to run a county report, I recommend including city and 5-digit ZIP subtotals to make sure that you include all of the areas you need since county names might not be as familiar as city names.

Try this tip out when you log into NetMinder next time and let us know how it goes in the NetMinder User Group on LinkedIn.

 

Tags: compare networks, data management, business intelligence, data analysis, provider counts, ZIP codes and cities

 

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