The state of uncertainty in the health insurance marketplace makes preparing for 2018 a challenge. Rather than sitting back and waiting to see what happens, health plans that recognize the ongoing need to transform their business models and embrace the shift to B2C will be in the driver’s seat. This B2C shift makes consumer insight and engagement even more critical as health plans focus on delivering outstanding consumer experiences and building loyalty with existing members.
To be successful, organizations must embrace technology to not only retain an increasingly demanding consumer but also to manage costs and improve quality and satisfaction. Three technology essentials to help make this happen:
- Predict and influence consumer behavior with advanced analytics. With vast amounts of data available including medical records, claim history and social data, health plans should be following in the footsteps of retailers by leveraging data to engage consumers. Bringing disparate data sources together, including both structured and unstructured formats, will help health plans manage the populations they serve and ultimately allow them to look at how social determinants impact health outcomes. Data-driven and actionable insights from advanced analytics will not only help increase engagement and consumer satisfaction but also improve efficiency in call centers and claims management.
- Build a consumer-centric digital strategy. To attract, engage, and retain consumers, health plans must create a digital strategy that seamlessly delivers their brand message across all touch points, both on- and offline. A truly great consumer experience is achieved when a harmonious experience is created, no matter the channel, device, or moment. Building a great digital strategy requires health plans to listen to the data they have, create an accurate and 360-degree view of their consumer, and understand the different consumer journeys. Data-driven insights are vital to a strong digital strategy and by gathering consumer insights from research and data, organizations can understand their needs and establish goals in terms of consumer experience and engagement.
- Embrace innovation and emerging technologies to thrive in the age of the consumer. More often than not health plans spend a good majority of their resources on their systems of record including claims systems. However, it is imperative that health plans leverage technologies such as the cloud to achieve scale and agility. The cloud is critical for health plans looking to transform, from organizations that manage technology, into wellness companies that more rapidly provide new services to consumers. Cloud-based technologies provide a scalable foundation for ingesting and analyzing large amounts of disparate data to gain a holistic view of consumers. In addition to the cloud, health plans also need to embrace mobile to deliver a more connected and personalized consumer experience, and provide better care at a lower cost. Health plans that continue to build IoT connectivity and utilize healthcare everywhere tools such as mHealth and telehealth will be on the right path to meeting the rising demands of healthcare consumers.
The shift from B2B to B2C in the health insurance industry shows no sign of slowing down. In an industry that is full of uncertainties, one thing that we know is consumer experience trumps all.