New Collective Health tool makes sure digital health products offered by employers actually get used

By Jonah Comstock
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Even when an employer or insurer offer their members innovative digital health products, for a healthcare consumer looking for a solution to a problem, it can be hard to know what's out there and what works.

Collective Health, an employee benefits platform that raised more than $100 million in VC funding in 2015, is aiming to solve that problem with the help of predictive analytics. Collective Health is launching a new product called CareX that's designed to help employees navigate their options.

"In the future, healthcare will be even more collaborative, with a much broader set of players," Dr. Rajaie Batniji, chief health officer at Collective Health, wrote in a blog post. "Traditional providers will be supported by newly specialized roles, digital tools and programs, innovative communication and collaboration platforms, and other ideas we haven’t even thought of yet. From where I sit at Collective Health, I’m already seeing glimpses of this future. We’re working with organizations like Ovia Health to improve maternity care, Omada Health and Livongo to transform treatment of prediabetes and diabetes, and Lyra Health to redefine what behavioral healthcare can be. I’m incredibly excited by these partners and the thought of a truly connected healthcare system — one where provider organizations, health plans, and innovative programs work together to deliver the best possible care."

CareX integrates into Collective Health's existing platform. For employers who have elected to offer point solutions like the ones Batniji described, CareX will run an algorithm using data from claims, as well as from searches on its member portal and past communications with its member advocates, to identify employees who would benefit from particular benefits. Then using a combination of digital tools and human care navigators (the exact approach varies by employer), CareX reaches out to employees and presents them with their options.

'“As a tenured benefits leader, Activision Blizzard offers a wealth of great benefits for health and wellness, fertility, compassionate leave, and more,” Milt Ezzard, senior director of benefits for Activision Blizzard, a Collective Health customer, said in a statement. “But this innovation only makes a difference if employees understand the programs and how to use them. That’s why I’m so excited to be part of the Collective Health CareX beta. With CareX, we can be confident that we’re offering the right benefits in the right way. CareX also provides great data on the impact of our benefits spend, so that we can continue to invest strategically in employees.”

CareX has been in beta for three months now and Batniji says it's led to twice as much engagement with benefits programs for the 15,000 members in the beta. It will roll out more widely in 2018.

In addition to announcing CareX, Collective Health shared that it now has 15 employer clients and covers a total of 70,000 lives, counting employees and their dependents, doubling its membership over the past year. The company also hired Kenneth Hahn as chief financial officer and added Laszlo Bock, former senior vice president of people operations at Google, to its advisory board.