AHIP 2013: Leading health insurers leveraging technology innovations to deliver exceptional and engaging customer experiences into the post reform market

As health insurance exchanges go live this fall, thethird-party relationships that many health plans have had with their memberswill increasingly become first-party relationships. This means that competitionfor the same customer has never been more intense. Keeping customers is goingto require exceptional customer service—not just excellent service—becausecustomer loyalty will now be gained or lost with every customer experience. Inother words, delivering excellentcustomer experiences at every touch point and across the channels each customerprefers—the phone, web, email, IVR, social media, chat, text, and webconferencing—is now just the price of entry. Delivering exceptional experiences at every touch point is now missioncritical for health plans to retain and grow their customer base in today’sfirst-party customer relationship model.

Delivering exceptional and engaging customer experiences requiresa deeper understanding of the needs, behaviors, and values of every customer. Microsoftand its partners are helping health plans meet these needs through new andinnovative devices and services.  

Understanding, activatingand engaging members and partners startswith creating a 360 degree view of their needs, communications, and how theyprefer to engage on issues critical to their care and wellness. Leading healthplans like Molina are leveragingMicrosoftDynamics CRM as a flexible platform to understand customer values andpreferences and personalize their interactions with them across multiplecommunication channels. Juan Jose Orellana, Vice President of InvestorRelations and Marketing at Molina Healthcare, Inc. explained, “At MolinaHealthcare, our focus has always been on providing high quality care tofamilies and individuals who face barriers to health care access. Webelieve that by leveraging a customer relationship management tool, we willstrengthen customer service while improving health outcomes for our members.”

The more consumers see and pay the bills for their ownpremiums and health care services, the more they’ll expect and demand the same orbetter level of service that they do from retailers known for their exceptionalcustomer service. As a result, best-inclass customer service is now priority one for every health planorganization. Microsoft’s partner ColibriumPartners has lead the industry in providing sales, marketing and insurancemarketplace integration. ProvidenceHealth Plans recently chose Colibrium’sTuo Product Suite, with integrated Dynamics CRM, for their privateexchange, with public exchange integration. The comprehensive solutionplatform provides a guided online experience, streamlined administrativeprocesses, and will integrate with Oregon’s Public Exchange. “The Tuo turn-keyplatform will enable Providence to rapidly establish themselves as having bestin class online capabilities for all of their constituents and provide afoundation for growth and the flexibility reform requires today,” explainedMark Poling, CEO, Colibrium.

Success in the post-reform requires organizations to acquirenew flexibility to adapt quickly to shifting industry priorities whilestreamlining operations and increasing the productivity of employees and teams.Such organizational transformation includesstrategic use of technologies that can provide reliable, secure and leadingedge capabilities whether on premise or in the cloud. Microsoft and itspartners have worked to assist leading health plans to transform their organizationsto meet market flexibility and regulatory demands such as HIPAA 5010 and ICD 10as well as to provide secure productivity and team collaboration cloud basedservices to supplement or replace their core communication and collaborationinfrastructure. Health benefits company WellPointchose Office365 to provide a complete collaborative environment across both internaland external stakeholders, as well as to provide productivity gains necessaryto meet medical loss ratio (MLR) targets. Office365 enabled WellPoint to rapidly integrate their community of healthproviders, healthcare management and traditional insurance businesses. Further,WellPoint was able to reduce operating costs and increase reliability from 95to 99.99 percent, improve coordination amongst its 37,000 employees, andenhance delivery of its services for the 34 million members in its affiliatedhealth plans. George Zaruba, vice president of infrastructure, WellPoint,explained, “Microsoft Office 365 gave us capabilities that we needed and didn’thave in WellPoint. Larger mailboxes. Integrated collaboration tools. Greatsupport from Microsoft. I’d recommend Office 365 to anyone.” These technologiesalso allow health plans comply with HIPAA security regulations, as Microsoftoffers a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement to healthcare organizationsleveraging its cloud products.

Technology solutions from Microsoft and its partners are enablinghealth plans of all sizes to communicate, collaborate and connect with theirmembers, providers, employers and partners.  Adopting platforms such as Microsoft DynamicsCRM and Office 365 enables insurance providers to not merely adapt to therapidly changing marketplace – but to raise the customer experience bar to newlevels.

VisitMicrosoft and our partners in booth #145 this week at AHIP’s Institute totalk more about how Microsoft can help your organization succeed in today’smarket.

Have a comment or opinion on thispost? Let me know. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at health@microsoft.com.  

Dr. Dennis Schmuland
Chief health strategy officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft

About the Author

Dr. Dennis Schmuland | Chief health strategy officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft

Dr. Dennis Schmuland is the Chief Health Strategy Officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft. He drives strategy across the US Health sector. Read More