SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Use of Castlight Health®, Inc.’s (NYSE:CSLT) Enterprise Healthcare Cloud software platform is associated with lower costs for three common medical services analyzed in a new study published online today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), including 14% lower costs for laboratory tests and 13% lower costs for advanced imaging. It is the first study of its kind to examine the effectiveness of an enterprise healthcare management platform on costs under a rigorous peer-review study protocol.
The study was conducted by Neeraj Sood, Ph.D., who is the Director of Research at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at the University of Southern California, and researchers from Castlight Health.
The study was conducted to evaluate whether the use of Castlight’s Enterprise Healthcare Cloud is linked to a reduction in costs to employers and employees for three common medical services: laboratory tests, advanced imaging services1, and clinician office visits. Researchers analyzed medical claims from 2010-2013 for 502,949 employees who had access to the Castlight software platform through 18 employers.
Top-line results from the study showed that claims payments were lower for all services examined for employees who used Castlight (“searchers”) as compared to employees who did not use Castlight to search for care (“non-searchers”). Claims payments for laboratory tests were 14% lower for searchers compared with non-searchers, 13% lower for advanced imaging services, and 1% lower for primary care office visits.
“The findings of this study demonstrate that using Castlight’s platform can save money for both employers and employees,” said Dr. Sood. “The savings will increase as more and more of the estimated 150 million Americans with employer-sponsored insurance gain access to information on prices and quality.”
Dr. Sood continued, “Importantly, we need to consider that the timeframe for this investigation is at the very advent of healthcare consumerism in America and during the initial adoption phase of Castlight’s platform. It is quite possible that widespread adoption of such solutions by employers will force higher-priced providers to reduce their prices. The potential savings from such changes in provider behavior could be substantial. We hope to study this issue in the future.”
Castlight is the first company to provide an enterprise healthcare management platform specifically designed to help large American employers transform healthcare from a cost center to a strategic business investment. More than 130 companies across 25 industries have selected Castlight’s Enterprise Healthcare Cloud to offer their employees the opportunity of finding the highest quality care while reducing unnecessary spending and waste, and leveraging existing investments in employee health and productivity.
“This study was purposefully focused. Castlight sees it as a starting point, examining common medical services for which there is demonstrably little correlation of cost with quality,” said Christopher Whaley, a data scientist at Castlight Health, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, and the lead author on the JAMA paper. Mr. Whaley spearheaded an analysis released by Castlight in June 2014 documenting price variance in more than 60 cities nationwide for common in-network services in a commercially insured employee population.
Whaley further noted, “The JAMA study is thought-provoking. It suggests that enterprise technology can play a major role in enabling companies to address healthcare costs while offering optimally tailored benefits to employees. We know from other research that savings per service increase when we examine employees active on the Castlight platform for longer periods of time.2 Additionally, preliminary work for a separate, ongoing study finds that individuals retain information from searching and continue to visit less expensive providers, similar to an annuity that provides dividends well into the future for employees and their employers.3 The potential for more and lasting behavior change by employees seems truly groundbreaking.”
Employees using Castlight during the study timeframe accessed the Castlight platform well beyond the services reported on in the JAMA paper, with 70 percent conducting a search in the platform.
With the Enterprise Healthcare Cloud software, transparency into price and quality information serves as the basis for other offerings in the platform that help employers and their employees manage healthcare spending. Castlight’s technology, through the sophisticated analysis of large sets of data, engages and drives employees to utilize efficient, high-quality care options such as on-site clinics, decision-support resources and telemedicine services; rewards employees for accessing free preventive care services like annual check ups, well-baby visits and mammograms; and creates a ‘one-stop shop’ to connect employees online into a company’s existing wellness initiatives such as weight management and smoking cessation programs.
"We are honored that JAMA has published this landmark study looking at Castlight’s Enterprise Healthcare Cloud. We are pleased to demonstrate definitively that Castlight offers employers a powerful new way to leverage and encourage healthcare consumerism, and new forms of talent management through the offering of personalized healthcare options," said Giovanni Colella, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Castlight Health. “Beyond access to cost and quality information, Castlight supports employers on their quest to manage enterprise healthcare. New applications like dental and first-to-market benefit offerings such as Castlight’s Reference-Based Pricing are leading the way.”
Please see the JAMA article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
About Castlight Health
Castlight Health, Inc. (NYSE:CSLT) believes great healthcare builds great business. Named a top 2014 software platform by HR Technology Conference & Exposition, the Castlight Enterprise Healthcare Cloud enables employers to deliver cost-effective benefits, provides medical professionals and health plans a merit-based market to showcase their services, and – most importantly – empowers employees to make informed choices with a clear understanding of costs and likely outcomes. For more information visit www.castlighthealth.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and Like us on Facebook. Source: Castlight Health.
Copyright 2014 Castlight Health, Inc. Castlight Health is the registered trademark of Castlight Health, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.
1 For the purpose of this study, advanced medical imaging is defined as computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The study protocol was not designed to capture data for employees who avoided unnecessary or duplicate services based on use of the Castlight platform.
2 The share of medical services for which employees conducted a search was nearly twice the rate for the five earliest employers to launch Castlight compared to the five employers who most recently adopted Castlight.
3 For example, those who at any point had a laboratory or imaging test 0-14 days following a search have 10% and 5% lower costs on all subsequent visits.