Webinar: Preparing data for healthcare cost analytics

Healthcare data solutions with Eccella & Paxata

It’s time we improve our healthcare system. In the U.S., hundreds of billions of dollars are being wasted on unnecessary care and procedures, life-saving patient information is not being exchanged effectively between healthcare professionals, and there are severe inefficiencies and a lack of transparency in the healthcare insurance industry. But with the myriad advances brought on by big data analytics, tech leaders in the field are slowly turning the tide. The impetus for this change lies in healthcare data, and specifically, how we process, clean and analyze this data.

Thought leaders from Eccella Consulting, an innovative software solutions and consulting firm, and Paxata, an adaptive data preparation company, met in a recent webinar to discuss these issues and explore Paxata’s recently developed Cloudera-based solution. The participants included: Joshua Girard, senior manager at Eccella, Yuri Nazarov, senior consultant at Eccella, Paul Lilford, senior director at Tableau, Mike White, senior solutions consultant at Paxata, and Lilia Gutnik, director of product management at Paxata.

The webinar centers around the issue of onboarding, compiling healthcare data from an offline source to an online platform, something the healthcare industry is desperately in need of. The discussion touches upon the importance of data processing; how to clean, store, analyze, visualize and share vast amounts of healthcare data on one platform. The Paxata platform, using Cloudera software, provides a comprehensive solution with which data professionals can work with data, for the benefit of the insurers and patients. Here are just some of the major talking points, collected from the webinar.

Why is onboarding so important?

Joshua Girard, from Eccella Consulting, discussed healthcare organizations’ desire to improve patient services, expand business to more providers, and overall, increase their bottom line. Many healthcare providers wish to modernize their legacy claims processing system, to convert data to a new platform, reevaluating it at the same time. The problem is how time-consuming this actually is, and many providers and ultimately, their patients, suffer in the process. Paul Lilford, from Tableau, shared the importance of security when dealing with sensitive patient information; analyzing and processing clinical data while protecting these critical assets.

What makes healthcare data on-boarding so difficult?

The difficulty of effective data on-boarding is profound. The healthcare system in the U.S. is vast and populated by multitudes of data. The startling statistic: the onboarding process often takes up to 6 months, and potentially contains 20-30 back-and-forth iterations between companies. The fact is that much of this healthcare data is code heavy, in different formats. This is a huge source of inefficiency and wasted resources that ultimately affect the patients themselves. Healthcare professionals need to read, enrich and make sense of this huge amount of data.

What are the key requirements for a data on-boarding solution?

Joshua Girard and Paul Lilford listed the fundamental requirements for a comprehensive onboarding solution that meets the disparate needs of healthcare and IT professionals. These include:

  • Organization of data in a common platform for widespread adoption
  • Excel-like structure, due to established practice
  • Common set of data rules
  • Easy to use exception reports
  • Ability to enrich data with ICD-9, or primary care physician information
  • Standardized datasets
  • Repeatable and scalable
  • Iterative approach to data analysis, on a single platform with audit trail access
  • Secure data assets
  • Easily-accessible data
  • Easily leveraged and relatable data

The solution

The Cloudera-based solution, developed by Paxata, is a comprehensive platform for all medical and insurance professionals. The solution takes healthcare data from all sources and customizes it for different datasets and needs. Eccella Consulting uses this solution to streamline and optimize its healthcare clients’ infrastructures. Using this solution, medical professionals can explore the data, enrich, clean and change the data, combine it with different sources, and publish it to a data visualization. Here is a walk-through of the solution, from Paxata’s Lilia Gutnik:


Test case scenario

Using CT scan data, Paul Lilford demonstrates a real test case pulled from mocked up data on the platform. The solution breaks down and visualizes the CT scan data from state to state. With this information, it’s clear to see that one state in particular, Texas, has a much higher instance of CT scans. Users can also analyze the information broken down by city, provider and even doctor. The program reveals the outliers, so that over-prescription and waste is clearly illustrated. From there, an analyst can look for a logical explanation, such as the practice specializing in CT scans, and action can be taken to address this issue.  


Healthcare costs are out of control; limiting waste by decreasing hospital stays, over prescription and other costs are paramount to distributing healthcare to those who need it most. Integrating new insurance claims data helps Eccella increase its clients’ revenues, expand business, and ultimately, improve patient experience. When healthcare data is seen clearly and understood, medical professionals are empowered to have a natural conversation with data, and to provide greater insight that serve as a benefit to us all.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­For a more detailed look into how these takeaways can be put into action for you and your company, watch the entire webinar here!

To take action today, please visit