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4 Health Plan Trends for 2012

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, December 27, 2011

4. The spending spree will continue
Aetna recently announced that it has a jaw-dropping $1.3 billion set aside for acquisitions and stock repurchases in 2012. The giant health insurer didn’t provide any clues on what acquisitions it might be looking at, but the health insurance industry as a whole has been on something of a diversification kick, moving away from simply insuring care to the actual delivery of care.

Physician groups, clinics, and even entire health systems have been acquired as health plans seek to manage costs on the clinical side of the health delivery process. Expect more of these deals in 2012.

Health plans are looking for companies that can help them with medical management along the continuum of care. Humana’s recent acquisition of SeniorBridge, which manages care complex chronic care for older patients, is a good example. That will help Humana as it grows its Medicare book of business.

Finally, expect information services and data analysis to grow in importance as health plans try to increase administrative efficiencies while integrating new business lines.
 


Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "4 Health Plan Trends for 2012"


Jodene Gilman (12/28/2011 at 12:12 PM)
As a recent graduate of a clinical informatics program, I am finding that the healthcare IT current job market requires some or all of these skills: a RN degree, years of previous IT experience, or a HIMS certification. A laboratory technologist and a masters degree in instructional and Human performance Technology does not pigeon-hole my experience into the above mentioned requirements. So my question is thus: Wouldn't people with different background knowledge such as engineering principles, manufacturing, etc... as well as medical knowledge, would be invaluable to the healthcare arena by offering new methods and ideas that may be significantly better than how things are currently being done? Yet these people, especially new graduates (graduates funded by the government monies associated with HITECH), are not being considered for informatics jobs. I would like to hear other ideas and experiences that people (both graduates and employers) are experiencing in the hiring and job arenas.