Catalyst for Payment Reform

Press Release: Data Warehouse & Analytics Vendors Not Yet Meeting Needs of Employers and Other Health Care Purchasers

Press Release: Data Warehouse & Analytics Vendors Not Yet Meeting Needs of Employers and Other Health Care Purchasers

New report summarizes findings from evaluations of seven data warehouse & analytics firms

BERKELEY, Calif. – November 5, 2019 – To help benefits managers navigate the complex data warehouse and analytics marketplace, today Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) released the State of the Data Warehouse & Analytics Marketplace Report, a summary of research, expert interviews and evaluations of seven data warehouse and analytics vendors.

Employers and other self-funded health care purchasers working to contain health care costs and improve the quality of health care for their organizations and plan members increasingly require data from disparate sources for both the design and evaluation of new strategies and programs. Benefits staff charged with carrying out innovative approaches like contracting directly with health care providers or working to integrate behavioral and physical health often turn to data warehouses and data analytics vendors for support.

Choosing a vendor requires careful consideration of how they handle the security of the purchaser’s data, “the user experience” in working with products and services, how actionable the vendor’s reporting is, and the sophistication and breadth of the vendor’s analytics. These organizations vary in how they approach each of these areas, but across the board there are several ways they could further meet the needs of their purchaser customers.

“The most promising approaches purchasers can take to get better value for their health care spending and a better experience for plan members require complex data analyses,” said Suzanne Delbanco, PhD, executive director of CPR. “Kudos to the vendors who participated in CPR’s evaluations for their transparency and accountability to purchasers. This report and the evaluation criteria CPR is making available to purchasers can jump start the evolution they need from these vendors.”

Key findings include:

  • Who owns health care and other data in the purchaser-vendor agreement requires careful examination. Provisions related to a data ownership throughout a purchaser-vendor relationship and upon termination are often buried in agreements between the purchaser and vendor or vendor and data suppliers. Language about a purchaser’s audit rights tends to be buried in these agreements as well.
  • Purchasers want to evaluate a wide variety of data about their health plan members. For example, looking at 401(k) contributions in conjunction with salary and health care data can help assess how affordable health care benefits are for plan members. CPR found data warehouse and analytics vendors can integrate a wide range of vendor data types but are just beginning to think more broadly about new data types to integrate, like consumer data and workplace data.
  • Different vendors offer different user experiences. While all vendors offer some self-service functionality, some emphasize “hands-on” analytical support while others prioritize a Software as a Service model. Drawing on different data sources means some vendors are effective at benchmarking costs while others may be stronger at assessing the quality of care.
  • “Analysis paralysis” can make it challenging for purchasers to know where to begin in addressing their exorbitant health care costs. Vendors have leveraged recent advances in data visualization to help benefit managers identify and act on opportunities, but they could take this further.  For example, vendors should combine cost and quality data and display it by provider on a map so that benefit managers can see the geographical challenges plan members face with access to high-value providers.

Click here to review the full State of the Data Warehouse & Analytics Marketplace Report.

CPR also released specifications for purchasers to use in evaluating data warehouse and analytics vendors. The evaluation criteria were developed by CPR in conjunction with its member organizations.


Data Warehouse & Analytics scorecards summarize performance

CPR evaluated how each of the seven respondents performed against the specifications and shared these findings in scorecards with CPR members to ensure they can make informed decisions about data warehouse and analytics services.

About Catalyst for Payment Reform

Catalyst for Payment Reform is an independent, non-profit organization working to catalyze employers, public purchasers and others to implement strategies that produce higher-value health care and improve the functioning of the health care marketplace. For a list of CPR member organizations, click here. For more information visit: and follow CPR on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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