FOCUS OF THE WEEK
AHIP Fall Forum 2012 Recap
December 10, 2012, 04:13:43 PM
The America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Fall Forum 2012 conference took place in Chicago, IL, from December 3-5. Here are some of the highlights from the conference.

One of the primary topics at the Fall Forum was patient engagement. Health plans must prepare to actively engage consumers considering that approximately 30 million patients are about to enter the marketplace for the first time. In order for health plans to adequately compete, according to Jen Cressman, Vice President, Strategic Accounts, Krames StayWell, they must diversify tools for patient engagement. This diversity includes print, email, and mobile marketing and tools. It will be imperative for insurers to understand which segments of their audience prefer specific forms of communication. Although the creation of a diverse set of marketing and communication tools can be costly and timely, the time is now to begin preparing. A syndicated and well branded approach to communication with these members will increase a health plan’s re-enrollment rates by showing members that they care about their needs and are customizing interactions in ways that are convenient and preferable to them.

For additional information on the importance of engaging consumers in the healthcare marketplace, please check out our video interview with Cindy Bjorkquist, Director of Wellness, Care Management and Health Promotion Programs Development, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Another challenge that payers will face in the coming months is getting information from their consumers so that they can adequately understand what their needs are. An expanding retail marketplace means that there are more opportunities for health plans to develop innovative strategies to reach consumers that are entering the market space for the first time. Juan-Pierre Stephan, Senior Executive, Health CRM, Accenture, spoke about the need for insurers to align incentives with communicating value; deliver personalization and innovation; become digitally relevant; and build trust.

Looking for some of the innovative ways that payers are incentivizing good decision making in the health insurance marketplace? Gail Wilensky, PhD, Senior Fellow, Project Hope, discusses some of the emerging trends in this video.

Advancements in technology are also opening up new ways of delivering healthcare. Not only is telemedicine continuing to advance, but mobile applications are becoming so sophisticated that cardiograms, diabetic readings, and imaging tests can all be taken by a user and uploaded and sent to a provider in minutes. The future of healthcare costs could become much more manageable and efficient thanks to some of the disruptive technologies that Eric Topol, MD, Gary and Mary West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine, Scripps Translational Science Institute, spoke about at the Fall Forum.

For more highlights from the AHIP Fall Forum 2012 conference, please visit our conference page.