The journey to becoming a consumer-focused health company

Monday, April 26, 2021

Many health insurance companies and healthcare provider organizations understand that supporting effective health consumerism is a foundational component of a better system, and therefore, a strategic imperative for their company.

The question? “How do I get there from here?”

  • Health companies are increasingly competing for revenue at the consumer level.
  • Health plans are competing in expanding government-sponsored individual markets, such as Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare.
  • Health plans and providers alike understand that engaging consumers regarding their health is critical to lowering costs, improving outcomes and increasing consumer loyalty (the value-based care promise).

Generally speaking, the health industry is not a high performing sector in terms of meeting the needs and expectations of consumers. Although health companies provide value in many ways, at their core, health plans are risk managers and healthcare providers are clinical organizations.

The healthcare consumer journey presents two major challenges: cultural transformation and technical execution.

Much has been studied and written about organizational cultural transformation. Most often, legacy companies fail to fully realize their transformation vision. A good starting point is belief. Does your executive leadership really understand and support the effort? Is your company prepared to invest in and persist through the journey? Does your company see the strategic value in creating a consumer-focused culture?

Technical execution is the second challenge. Operating a consumer-focused company requires several foundational building blocks including:

  • Unified data and effective analytics that can provide actionable insights.
  • Process integration across your consumer touch points and your ecosystem of partners (e.g., payers and strategic providers) to reduce fragmentation in the consumer experience.
  • CRM and Marketing technology to enable omnichannel communications and deepen customer relationships.
  • A talented, multi-disciplinary team that understands what it takes to drive value for your company and your customers.

Done well, this journey can be a game changer for your company and a true sustainable competitive advantage. Companies that complete the journey are ensured accelerated growth, a strengthened brand and the ability to deliver better value for their consumers and stakeholders.

The good news is that value can be added along each step of this journey.