(Image via Shutterstock)

There is a disease that touches nearly every American, no matter their age or where they live. It can’t be cured by doctors, and no lab is working on a vaccine. The disease is the healthcare system itself.
It strikes U.S. businesses with out-of-control costs and directly affects  more than half of all Americans—those who rely on their employers for health coverage.
But there’s hope that technology may help us cure our broken, dysfunctional healthcare system and enable businesses to turn this crippling expense into a strategic advantage.
U.S. enterprises spend the most—more than $620 billion annually—to give their people the least, among all developed countries. Healthcare is a top-three business cost and it increases by 5 to 7 percent every year. Despite this massive spend, America ranks 46th in the world in healthcare outcomes. That’s because our healthcare system is a merit-free market that lacks transparency and accountability.
As a result, healthcare providers can’t compete based on their expertise or merits; businesses can’t provide employees with world-class benefits; employees can’t understand the choices they have, what they are paying for, or the outcomes they should expect. Even when there is some visibility into price and quality, employers and their people lack the means to make to make this information understandable, useful, and actionable.
Time and again, technology has addressed tough business problems, and technology can cure enterprise healthcare. In all other areas of enterprise management, technology has enabled leaders to transform the most critical parts of their businesses—from supply chain management to human resources, finance, sales, and marketing. But until now, there hasn’t been a solution that tackles the healthcare problem head-on by giving companies the information they need and the technology to understand and act on it.
Castlight_225Our business, Castlight Health, has developed the Enterprise Healthcare Cloud—a suite of application services built on a robust and secure technology platform that scales to the largest enterprises. Our solution starts with transparency: data enables employers to pinpoint wasteful healthcare spending and poor quality outcomes. These insights, along with a comprehensive set of management controls, let businesses design, optimize, and scale employee benefits to increase the effectiveness and make the most of their healthcare investments.
Our platform makes it easier for employees to discover and access onsite clinics, telehealth, HSA accounts, and more. Companies can then give employees visibility to care options, offering employees and their families user-friendly Web and mobile access to the personalized healthcare information they need to make better decisions. As more users interact with the platform, the new data is incorporated in real time to allow businesses to evaluate progress, track improvement, and strengthen their programs.
In a nutshell, the Enterprise Healthcare Cloud allows businesses to manage healthcare as they do other business investments, and it empowers employees to make better healthcare decisions.
We see the Enterprise Healthcare Cloud as a solution that could set a course for an efficient, merit-based healthcare market that spurs a virtuous cycle, allowing businesses to devote resources to developing new products, creating jobs, and building strong and competitive companies.