Paternoster says that reflects a shift in the health insurance market from a wholesale (employer-sponsored) to retail (individual) approach to selling insurance. It also reflects how choice will play a critical role in payer and product selection.
The survey indicates that member portals and e-commerce are among the big ideas where payers plan to invest to improve the consumer experience. Embracing multi-channel commerce, mobility, and social media are also on payers' agendas.
Payers have been working on these elements for several years but now are focused on wrapping up that work. Paternoster says, "They know these items are key. Payers know they need to get their technology on board so they can shift from historical to real-time analytics. They need to be able to quickly change how they engage individual members. They also need to be able to monitor what is happening in their provider networks so they can react in real-time to changes there."
Rounding out the list of top health plan priorities is provider collaboration, integrated care management, and health exchanges.
Paternoster notes that the priorities are all related in some way to improving the customer experience. "I think payers recognize that if their providers work together and there's integrated care management then their members will be happier."