AHIP 2012: Making a Real Impact for Better Health

18 June 2012 | Dr. Dennis Schmuland, Chief health strategy officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft
This week, thousands of health care professionals will gather for the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute 2012 where discussions will span topics including the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, the 2012 presidential election, and technology solutions that will enable health plans to achieve their goals of world-class customer service, healthier communities, administrative simplicity and improved health outcomes.
To help health plans identify the right solutions to achieve such goals and make a real impact for better health, Microsoft, alongside key partners, will showcase three important areas of innovation in Booth #1112: actionable analytics, activating health communities, and the business of IT.
  • Actionable Analytics: Across today’s health ecosystem there’s a glut of siloed clinical, financial and operational data that can guide consumers and clinicians to make value-based decisions, prevent the need for costly care, and improve population health. But to make that data “actionable” it has to be contextually relevant and available “in the moment” that consumers and clinicians are able to act on it. Most organizations, unfortunately, focus nearly all their resources on building dashboards , data warehouses, and scorecards and incorrectly assume that those who need to “act” on the information will “see what might happen” and know “what to do to differently” to steer the outcome in the direction of better health.
CareFirst focused on making population analytics actionable for primary care physicians in their PCMH program designed to lower costs and improve care for the chronically or seriously ill by giving primary care physicians (PCPs) complete and accurate information on each patient’s treatment and medical status. Tools such as Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Lync enabled PCPs to view quality and cost information relative to their peers, collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams on care plans, and factor the cost of specialists into their referral decisions. Ultimately, CareFirst found that this information had a definite and positive impact on PCP decision making.
For health plans interested in reaping similar benefits by empowering people and teams to make better informed decisions in less time and with less effort, Microsoft’s AHIP booth will feature a patient-centered medical home solution, business intelligence solutions, a potentially preventable events (PPE) accelerator, and a CMS Star Rating Solution.
  • Activating Health Communities: To succeed in an era of rising chronic disease, health plans must equip consumers and providers to make value-based care decisions and sustainable lifestyle changes to reduce the need for costly care and complications. This requires interactive and intuitive tools that make it easier, more natural, and even fun to improve and manage their health and reduce their risks. It also requires world-class customer service at every touch point—because consumer choice now plays such a central role in everything from benefit plan selection to wellness program enrollment to customer loyalty, which can be gained or lost with every customer interaction.
As a central part of their company-wide CRM strategy, Centene Corporation focused on improving the experience in what is often the first touch point with the customer – the call center. Centene leveraged the Customer Care Accelerator (a preconfigured call center template) with Microsoft Dynamics CRM to enable customer service representatives (CSRs) to support all member and provider service activities, continuously collecting data across multiple touch points to enable CSRs to understand the needs, behaviors, and values– ultimately increasing productivity, reducing training time, and improving customer service.
Microsoft at AHIP will demonstrate additional ways that health plans can engage and enable members, patients, providers and caregivers via the Health Plan Sales Solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, unified communications and consumer telepresence solutions, and technologies that make being engaged in your health fun, like Kinect for Xbox 360.
  • The Business of IT: Despite the pressure to do more with less, health plans can’t lose sight of core challenges and processes related to security, compliance, claims management, and fraud and abuse. Tackling such issues can be most effective by turning existing technology investments into strategic assets.
EmblemHealth, for example, used the power of the cloud to build and launch mobile apps, including a flu shot provider locator and a temporary ID card. As eWeek reported, EmblemHealth took a blended cloud approach with the Windows Azure platform, hosting patient data onsite in an encrypted database and leveraging the cloud to build mobile applications across multiple smartphone platforms and deliver member information securely to users’ mobile devices.
For health plan organizations interested in cloud services that combine security and reliability with a flexible range of deployment options, HIPAA 5010 compliance, or Office 365 collaboration solutions, the Microsoft booth will feature several in-depth demos.
In addition to the demonstrations listed above, Humana booth #1219, will feature healthy gaming with Kinect for Xbox 360, and Microsoft will host a speaking session entitled “What’s Missing from your Security and Compliance Efforts?” with partner WPC at 4:15 p.m. on June 21 In Ballroom B on the North Foyer Ballroom Level.
If you’re attending AHIP Institute 2012, don’t forget to stop by Microsoft booth #1112 to view any one of the demos mentioned above and to get your badge scanned for a good cause! Microsoft will donate $1 for every attendee that lets us scan their badge to a select list of charities – water.org, Feeding America and The Primary Children’s Medical Center Foundation, which is the local children’s hospital in Utah.
More information on Microsoft’s presence at AHIP Institute 2012 can be found here.
Dr. Dennis Schmuland
Chief health strategy officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft