Payers See Investment Opportunities Stemming from Reform

Christopher Cheney, December 3, 2014

With reform efforts transforming the healthcare industry across the country, health plans are finding ways to branch out beyond their historic roots.

Opportunities for innovation and investment dominate the constructive responses to revolutionary change in any market.


A rendition of Highmark's new sleep store

As insurance carriers adapt to dramatic change in the healthcare industry, longtime players are adopting a range of innovation and investment strategies.

On the entrepreneurial side of the spectrum, Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc. is looking for gaps in the healthcare consumer market and seizing opportunities as they are discovered. Three years ago, the Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate built a business innovation and development team to assess healthcare investment opportunities. The business innovation team has launched two new ventures so far, most recently a retail sleep medicine business.

Highmark Dreams of Growth Beyond Insurance

Paul Puopolo, VP of business innovation and development for Highmark, told me last month that the changing healthcare marketplace is opening avenues for growth. "The healthcare industry is clearly changing due to the rapid advancement in technology and changing consumer expectations. This means we need to look at health differently and find solutions and services that impact a consumer's lifestyle—ultimately, their overall well-being—and not just provide insurance. The purpose of Highmark's business innovation team is to look at a variety of trends and consumer needs to create new services and products to bring to market."

Christopher Cheney

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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