Small Health Plans Sharpen Their IT Strategies

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , October 24, 2012

Health information exchanges and deployment of interoperability

Participants indicated the need for two-way communication between payers and providers, especially in terms of being able to push data to electronic medical records. As healthcare transforms itself into a more consumer-centric industry, Donahue-Dalton says health plan relationships with providers will be "core assets."

Data aggregation/analytics

Health plans are looking at ways to invest in data warehousing and analytics to use member data more effectively. Analytics will play a critical role in consumer engagement and health plans are looking not only at how to present the data they collect but also exploring what data they need to have to better serve their members and providers.

Survey participants mentioned adding supplemental data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, pharmacies, and labs.

I see a lot of survey information that engages the major players and their plans. What this survey helps us understand is that the big ideas of healthcare transformation such as affordable care organizations, the shift to the individual market, and the role of analytics—are permeating throughout the health plan industry.

That's important as we look down the road at how healthcare reform legislation may change depending on the outcome of the elections.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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