Around the holidays a couple years ago, I went to Barnes & Noble with my family and we easily found every book we wanted. The checkout line, however, was incredibly long. Instead of standing in line for thirty minutes, I opened the Amazon app on my phone and scanned the barcode on each book, ordered them all within a minute or two, then we left the store.
The takeaway? You can have the greatest capabilities and product, but without the right infrastructure in place you can’t easily deliver. Barnes & Noble had all the options my family and I wanted, but they couldn’t get us to the finish line.
There’s a lesson here for payers, especially as consumerization in healthcare peaks in the form of more product customizations for groups and individuals. Plans today are already immensely more complex than a decade ago, and manual legacy systems struggle to support this level of complexity. On top of that, it is difficult for many plans to understand internally what was sold and an account’s contracted plan is not always communicated accurately to claims or member service, which results in manual claims adjudication and member ID cards going out in May. As product portfolios expand and versions of a “product of one” market emerge, how are you going to efficiently manage the exchange of information between siloed departments to ensure profitability? Compliance? Member satisfaction?
If you are managing your products on manual, disconnected systems you’re never going to reach the finish line – just like Barnes & Noble. It’s time to ditch the spreadsheets, PDF files, and “off-the-cuff” conversations to manage product customizations and establish a single source of truth that connects the front office with the back office and upstream with downstream. Put your health plan at the leading edge of the industry much like Amazon.
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