Case Study

Molina Healthcare Gains Healthy Advantage With Splunk Enterprise and Splunk ITSI

Executive Summary

Founded to assist underserved individuals in the Long Beach community, Molina Healthcare has grown to become a Fortune 500 multistate health care organization. As it tackles many challenges associated with rapid growth, the company continually strives to find the best ways to apply people, processes and technologies to provide excellent health care services. Since deploying Splunk Enterprise and Splunk IT Service Intelligence (ITSI), Molina has seen benefits including: 

  • Mining data to better understand trends and improve health care services
  • Ensuring revenue-generating claims engine runs smoothly
  • Providing proactive IT operations monitoring and rapid investigation
  • Reducing IT incidents fivefold and mean time to resolution by 63 percent
Challenges
    • Implementing similar platform with legacy tools would have required millions of dollars in professional services and upgrades
    • Ad hoc IT troubleshooting was inefficient and time-consuming
    • IT issues, including impact on the claims engine, had a negative revenue impact
    • Keeping up with rapid business growth
Business Impact
    • Providing enterprise-wide visibility, proactive monitoring and rapid troubleshooting
    • Ensuring revenue-generating claims engine runs smoothly
    • Mining data to better understand trends, reduce costs and improve health care
    • Increasing member retention and providing more valuable services
    • Reducing number of IT incidents fivefold
    • Reducing mean time to resolution by 63 percent
    • Applying actionable data so the business runs efficiently and customers are well-served
    • Ability to prioritize IT investigations based on business priorities
Data Sources
    • Health care claims data
    • Load balancer data
    • Call center data
    • Storage data
    • ExtraHop data
    • AppDynamics data

Why Splunk

Molina Healthcare arranges health care services delivery and offers health information management solutions to individuals and families who receive care through government health plans including Medicare, Medicaid and other government-funded programs. From an operational standpoint, the company is experiencing an explosion of data and has been working to classify, understand and apply actionable data so that the business runs efficiently and customers are well-served. 

At Molina, the Enterprise Infrastructure Services team is responsible for designing, building and engineering the company’s infrastructure platforms, from databases down to the network. Previously, the team had expensive and disparate enterprise IT operations monitoring tools. When an IT issue occurred, the team had to call in various groups and look at several tools to try to figure out, through a process of elimination, where an issue resided. Troubleshooting was ad hoc, and the team had no way to prioritize investigations based on business priorities. 

What’s more, the company lacked a real-time view of its data across the enterprise including its claims engine, which is the lifeblood of the company. When the claims engine broke or took time to restore service there was a negative revenue impact. “We went through a tools rationalization exercise and compared what the future state would look like versus where we were with our tools landscape, and the financial payout with Splunk Enterprise and Splunk ITSI was immediately apparent,” says Ben Gordon, VP of Enterprise Infrastructure Services. “Trying to implement something similar with legacy tools would have required lots of time and millions of dollars in professional services and upgrades.”  

Enterprise data analytics platform built to scale

Previously, staff spent hours on the phone trying to resolve IT issues that now are typically resolved in minutes with the Splunk platform. Molina has gained visibility and correlation across its stack, which has reduced the number of IT incidents fivefold and mean time to resolution by 63 percent. The Enterprise Infrastructure team has been able to decommission many tools, and now depends primarily on Splunk Enterprise and Splunk ITSI running on high-performance, high-density Cisco hardware. Gordon explains that the Operational Intelligence provided by the Splunk platform will help solve Molina’s growth challenges by focusing the teams, enabling automation, providing easy-to-use analytics and scaling better with the business. 

The team relies on many out-of-the-box Splunk ITSI dashboards focusing on the top 50 services, providing insight into infrastructure and application availability, performance and key performance indicators. Team members also have begun building custom dashboards, including one providing near real-time storage capacity monitoring so the company can execute a buy at the appropriate time. 

Tracking complex health care ecosystem

Within the complex health care and technology ecosystem, Splunk ITSI enables Molina to visually represent and follow important business processes in the company. By mining big data, Molina is gaining insights into why people join or leave its health care plans. The company is also identifying trends concerning sepsis and the other important yet costly health care issues. Splunk software is playing a vital role in enabling Molina to move away from manual processes, aligning IT with the business, helping to increase member retention and provide more valuable services. 

“We were looking for a single pane-of-glass and the ability to track transactions through all the systems,” Gordon says. “With Splunk ITSI, we can now track our member interaction all the way through every system in the service stack. Splunk ITSI has made troubleshooting effortless and collaborative.” 

Moreover, Gordon notes that Splunk Enterprise offers a flexible platform that can adjust to any type of machine data, providing flexibility as the company expands and adds in new data sources. Everything is integrated together seamlessly, from the application level down to the network and claims engine, giving everyone from the business to developers and operational staff complete end-to-end data visibility. 

“It’s important to get the right visibility so we can be more efficient and drive our costs down,” Gordon concludes. “This ties back to that singular vision of taking care of the underserved individuals in the community and making sure we do it with a high regard for the financial stewardship of the company.”