5 Takeaways From AHIP's 2013 Annual Conference

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , June 19, 2013

4.Big data is a big deal.
Each year at AHIP there is a buzz word or phrase. Last year it was "consumer engagement" and almost every vendor seemed to have a product to help healthcare providers and payers get closer to their customers. This year it was "big data."

The buzz on big data is that mountains of patient information from all types of medical databases have been aggregated and combined with big data algorithms to help create patient profiles and develop integrated and care options.

Vendors say big data will finally put healthcare industry on equal footing with the retail and banking industries, which have been gathering and aggregating their customer information for years.

5. It's all about the consumer.
At least seven sessions at the conference addressed the healthcare consumer. Developing trust, building long-term relationships, identifying the needs of the consumer, and nurturing the consumer all sound kind of New Age, but health plans are spending a boatload of money to better understand their members.

Health plans are taking a cradle–to-grave approach adding products that will build brand loyalty throughout a member's life.

If the PPACA is going to prevail over health insurance exchanges, it's going to need the payer side to be in its corner.

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