Saving time means saving money

Horizon Healthcare Services estimates savings of more than $500,000

The demands of health care reform require health plans to know a lot more about their members to be successful. And Horizon’s 3.6 million members are also demanding more sophisticated information to help manage expenses. To meet those needs, the company turned to SAS® Enterprise BI Server and saved more than $500,000 on its initial client reporting application.

Mike Occhipinti, Director of Informatics, has been with Horizon for more than two decades. He says he can recall a time when most customers needed little more than data on how much hospitals and providers were paid, but that demand has grown tremendously in size and scope.

Add to that the questions that come along with health care reform:

  • Who are our customers?
  • What coverage are they applying for?
  • How many applicants are coming through the exchanges?
  • What does their risk look like compared to current members?

The workload had grown so much that Occhipinti's group found it challenging to keep up with requests. It would take days to pull together data for simple questions from executives. And disease management utilization information for each large customer account took one person two weeks every month to pull together.

Meeting the challenges

Occhipinti says that his group no longer runs into space issues or functionality limits. Just three months after installing SAS, Occhipinti's group was pulling data from multiple sources to deliver automated 14-page disease management and health reports to its major customers. These were the same reports that took weeks to create prior to using SAS Enterprise BI Server.

Today they have interactive dashboards and KPI’s that gauge the heartbeat of their customer community. And they’ve doubled their capacity for analytics by using all the self-service reporting functionality in SAS.

Other important time and money savings include: 

  • A data file consolidation process that eliminates 720 hours a year worth of data reconciliation efforts.
  • A simple means of converting existing SAS programs to stored processes to speed information delivery – saving 3,600 hours of work per year.
  • The ability to store data in pre-defined OLAP cubes, which allows users to access standardized data more quickly for trend reports. This saves 2,304 hours of work a year.
  • A user interface that allows Horizon to produce analytic reports with less training, gaining 400 hours of productivity. Through self-serve reports, internal users now have the ability to query deployed data sources on their own.
  • Microsoft plug-ins and Web delivery for rapid and dynamic deployment with less conversion on the customer end, saving 1,199 hours of work a year.
[Our executives] are receiving customizable executive-level reports with summary data detail backup readily available.
Mike Occhipinti

Mike Occhipinti
Director of Informatics

According to Occhipinti, one of the most important outcomes of using SAS was time savings. This allowed analysts to spend more time on predictive analytics and gaining insights from the data. Rather than chasing "what happened" and trying to figure out why, they can often anticipate an event and plan for it.

One version of the truth

Equally crucial, Occhipinti says, the data is more reliable and more readily available internally. "Our executive leadership sees this one version of the data as a huge benefit. They are receiving customizable executive-level reports with summary data detail backup readily available." Internal customers love that they can log on and have a customized up-to-date dashboard available in 30 seconds or less.

"The business analytics supplied by the Informatics group support 100 major corporate projects and more than 500 separate customers and in many cases are influencing the decisions around the projects rather than after the fact,” Occhipinti says. "Analytics are the basis for our future path through the ever-changing health care landscape."



The Horizon Healthcare Services informatics group found it challenging to keep up with requests for data; reports took days, even weeks, to produce.


SAS® Enterprise BI Server


  • Data file consolidation process eliminates 720 hours a year in data reconciliation efforts.
  • Converting existing SAS programs to stored processes saves 3,600 hours per year.
  • Ability to store data in pre-defined OLAP cubes saves 2,304 hours per year.
  • Producing analytic reports with less training gains 400 hours of productivity.
  • Rapid, dynamic deployment saves 1,199 hours a year.

About Horizon Healthcare Services

Horizon Healthcare Services, New Jersey’s oldest and largest health insurer, provides 3.7 million members with a wide array of medical, dental and prescription insurance products and services.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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