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Consumer Engagement through Digital Transformation
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The US health insurance industry has been shifting focus from group to individual markets. There has been a paradigm shift from one-to-many to one-to-one communication and engagement. Health insurance plans look at delivering a consistent message and connected experience to consumers across channels – digital and traditional, direct and indirect. Studies also indicate that health insurance plans that deliver a better digital consumer experience gain a competitive edge.
Healthcare organizations are looking to leverage technology to improve consumer engagement and experience. Modeling these initiatives on the retail industry, health plans and providers are hoping to replicate their success at providing a seamless experience across channels. Many health plans have committed vast resources to stay atop the digital trend or keep up with their competitors; however, most of the digitized offerings from health plans lack foresight and planning. Hence, it is imperative for health plans to take a more considered approach to digital, start with introspection, then find new ways of exploiting different channels, and finally, identify the right technology partner to see the strategy through.
The 2014 Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws reveals a startling fact that 90 percent of states in the US fail to provide healthcare transparency. American consumers have traditionally been most uninformed about their healthcare purchases. Health plans to their credit have also taken only half-hearted measures to achieve ‘information availability’ as opposed to ’repeated information usability’ aimed at keeping consumers informed and aware. It is time health plans embark on a well-crafted roadmap to clinical and financial transparency building a long and strong bond with individual consumers in the new B2C healthcare world.
In the coming years, analytics will have a large role to play in helping healthcare payers redefine themselves and engage consumers, by helping them manage their healthcare experience from beginning to end. However, big data analytics is still a new idea in the industry, and will take some time to gain traction; and payers must take a different approach to analytics to close the gaps in consumer experience.