For the first time in history, cost cutting is identified as a top priority in analyst surveys of health plan executives, second only to business growth. In fact, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has recently estimated potential savings of $500 billion to $700 billion from administrative simplification and the cost of doing business.
Health plan CEOs are now asking their IT executives to answer this question: "How can we reduce costs and complexity and position the company for growth in the current economy?"
Microsoft believes that health plans can simultaneously be cutting costs and complexity and improving the productivity and innovative capacity of their teams to grow the business. The most successful health plans will be those that cut the complexities and costs of doing business by prioritizing and precisely applying their IT investments-many of which they already own-to the people-driven business processes with the highest impact.
Exceptional plans are leading the way by focusing on three themes. First, prioritizing and acting on those areas that will give them the greatest competitive advantage. Second, improving team productivity and people-driven processes to grow the business. Third, reducing overall IT spend.
Cutting costs and complexity: Prioritize and act on areas that give competitive advantage
The challenge of prioritizing and deciding where to cut costs and complexities without disrupting productivity is daunting even for the most seasoned IT executives. To cut complexity and costs and improve business performance at the same time, business capabilities, IT resources, and organizational culture must all be aligned to the company's short- and long-term strategic plans. Microsoft and our partners are uniquely able to help you realize a faster return on investment by helping you find, prioritize, and act on the highest-impact business processes without the usual lengthy and expensive consulting engagements.
Grow the business by improving team productivity
While integrating systems and automating transactions are essential to efficiently running your health payor organization, it's your people and teams - not transactions or line-of-business (LOB) applications - who have the greatest potential to innovate, improve member health, drive out inefficiencies, and reduce operational and medical costs. Your members, providers, and employees make decisions and take actions every day that affect health outcomes and the cost of care. By taking advantage of innovative technology tools to improve the right people-driven processes, your organization can cut costs and complexity and improve business performance.
Reduce spending on technology
Eliminate redundant applications
Redundancies in technology investments most often occur when common business applications serve slightly different purposes but share features. These features can include messaging and calendaring systems, collaboration tools, enterprise search applications, document management suites, social networking, web conferencing, databases, business intelligence dashboards and reporting tools, and custom-developed applications.
By standardizing on technology platforms that include many of these capabilities as built-in functions, you not only can eliminate redundancies, but also can drastically reduce IT complexity and support costs.
Respond quickly to business opportunities
To support new business initiatives, you need to free up people and operating capital, modernize core legacy systems, and leverage new technology investments to power a new, agile, and highly scalable set of business and care processes and services.
The Microsoft Connected Health Framework (CHF) for Health Plans is a service-oriented architecture solution that enables you to meet these challenges by aligning your business goals and imperatives with your IT organization. Microsoft CHF enables your IT organization to quickly respond to changing business demands by reducing the complexities of managing processes and connecting core systems, service channels, new applications, consumers, and partners. Unlike other solutions, which include a complex and costly configuration of multiple products and solutions, Microsoft CHF for Health Plans is a simple and pragmatic approach to enabling the critical capabilities needed to exploit new business opportunities and respond quickly to changing business needs. It's the next-generation platform to support direct-to-consumer connections, delivery of actionable information within the context of existing workflow and digital lifestyles, and end-to-end collaboration with providers and partners.