Springbuk releases its fourth annual report


Springbuk’s 2023 Employee Health Trends report reveals utilization and treatment cost trends that employers should consider when planning next year’s benefits

In its fourth annual report, released today, Springbuk, a health data analytics software company, evaluated health benefits data from 2018-2022 across more than 4,300 employers to examine:

  • How is COVID-19 still impacting costs?
  • What services are driving the increase in cancer costs?
  • Will new specialty drugs have a major effect on treatments and costs?
  • What is telemedicince’s “new normal”?

Springbuk’s 2023 Employee Health Trends report highlights four key emerging health issues that will impact how benefits leaders plan, deliver, and evaluate employee benefits programs, and provides recommendations on addressing those issues.

“Since Springbuk’s inception, our team’s goal has been to equip employers and their benefits advisors with easy-to-use information to improve employee health, manage costs, and understand program impact,” said Joy Powell, CEO of Springbuk. “To accomplish this, our expert data scientists, clinicians, and population health leaders dedicate significant amounts of time and resources to provide our community, customers, and partners with trend analyses that go beyond the ‘what’ is driving costs in their population by delivering insight into the ‘why.'”

The 2023 Employee Health Trends Report provides key data points, extensive graphs, and straight-forward recommendations to benefit leaders for how to contain costs while delivering impactful benefits programs.

Among the many noteworthy findings in the report were around the long-term impact of COVID-19. Around 20% of patients have claims with one or more symptoms 90-180 days after their COVID-19 diagnosis. This suggests that even with the worst of the pandemic behind us, employers may continue to see an uptick in disability claims related to Long COVID.

Another significant finding was around surges in cost of treating cancer. Over three years of the pandemic (mid-2019 to mid-2022), the amount of plan paid per claimant increased 4.1%, with the top five cancers comprising about 60% of cancer spending in the most recent year. At 44% of the total plan paid, specialty drugs are by far the largest cost driver in cancer treatment.

The report uncovered more about specialty drugs, including an increase of nearly 20% plan paid since 2018. However, an expected influx of biosimilar drugs may bring some costs down. Finally, the data analysts found that the use of telemedicine has dropped by more than half from its high point in April 2020, but utilization has leveled off at a higher mark than pre-pandemic, especially for mental health care, suggesting it to be a sustainable care method.

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