Analytics has become essential in sports, identifying players’ strengths and weaknesses to figure out the best strategy and tactics for a team.

That same approach can help athletic departments, too — analyzing insurance data can help reduce the frequency and severity of injuries for their athletes and decrease the cost of claims.

However, data in itself is insufficient. Only by analyzing the right insurance data that’s presented in the correct way can athletic departments identify trends and indicate where they excel and struggle.

Finding the right data

Every athletic department should receive monthly reports from their insurance broker and third-party administrator (TPA) on charges billed and paid for athlete injuries. But that data needs refinement to identify cost savings or see how training regimens can be modified to prevent injuries.

Insurance reports should include the following:

  • Total billed charges for specific injuries and the total paid dollar amount.
  • The total amount paid by the primary insurer and the remaining balance owed prior to the application of secondary insurance.
  • Secondary carrier discounts and TPA or claims administrator savings through direct agreements or repricing networks.

This information helps determine a program’s effectiveness — and by evaluating the percentage the primary insurer paid and the total paid as a percentage of billed charges, the department can also identify where its program excels and where it struggles.

Identifying patterns in injuries and medical care

Insurance data provided to athletic departments should also be sorted by medical provider, sport, anatomy, injury date, athlete’s name and the total amount paid for the claim.

This data shows trends in injuries. Using these trends, athletic departments can devise strategies on preventing them. For instance, a breakdown of claims could point to a large number of hamstring injuries in a women’s collegiate soccer team. That information can help the sports medicine staff and coaches rethink their practice and training regimens, helping reduce the frequency and severity of hamstring injuries.

Similarly, insurance data that details costs billed for certain procedures and the physicians who prescribed or performed them can identify hidden patterns. Breaking out data by provider, medical treatment and cost could help departments spot physicians more likely to order unnecessary tests or surgical centers that have less successful treatment outcomes.

This information can also identify potential partnership opportunities. Data may reveal that athletes are more frequently sent to the hospital for MRIs, for instance, but a local imaging center may be interested in offering this service at a discount as part of a sponsorship agreement. By leveraging this data, athletic departments can reap substantial insurance savings that boost the bottom line.

HUB International’s sports and entertainment specialists are ready to guide the college and high school athletic community on the risk management and insurance options needed to stay in the game.