Changes in consumer mindset have led healthcare companies to look toward expanding capabilities that meet consumer demand. Consumer-driven healthcare prioritizes convenience, personalization, and experience. The reality is that healthcare is no longer competing only against itself, but also against the last experience members have had as consumers.
Today, health plans that are focused on meeting consumer demand are looking further than just covering telehealth services. They are also prioritizing the individual by emphasizing social determinants of health, price transparency, and a move towards a “product of one.”
Is Amazon a Model for Payers?
In retail shopping, Amazon is the master of meeting consumer demand – some could even argue that Amazon is the creator of consumerization as we know it today. Are there lessons that health plans can adopt from Amazon? Let’s look at how this behemoth of an online marketplace has successfully integrated its operations to meet the consumer at every step of the journey, creating a solid pillar of insight and information that powers efficiency and profitability.
1. Mass customization of product
Amazon started as an online bookseller, but because the plan was always to grow and adapt with the customer (which ultimately allowed it to break that mold into what it is today), it built a flexible, scalable infrastructure that organized data, made it accessible, and wrapped it around seamless operations and streamlined processes.
Payer opportunity: Individualized plan design at scale hinges on control and use of data. Foundational capabilities that prepare for growth, including process automation, are essential.
2. Marketing and selling mass customization
With more than 12 million products sold on Amazon, how do they manage to create a delightful customer experience? The answer is search functionality, predictive recommendations, and access to data that is organized and stored in a central location.
Payer opportunity: Accelerate customization with pre-set guardrails and rules that reduce custom quotes from weeks to hours to make it easier to buy.
Amazon can instantly take an order, locate the closest facility, and coordinate delivery so it is received within 2 days. I’ve even experienced myself receiving a package the same day I ordered it. The sales and delivery processes are incredibly integrated.
Payer opportunity: Servicing customization at scale could create new operational challenges, so success depends on efficiency and customer experience. Feeding information downstream empowers faster and more accurate servicing from ID cards to customer service.
Build a Stronger Infrastructure
Health plans have an amazing opportunity to give the healthcare community a retail shopping experience for buying health insurance. All trends point to what consumers want – personalization, health insurance that they will use, know how to use, and can afford.
Building an infrastructure that is scalable, nimble, drives consumerism, and enables growth relies on creating an “Amazon model” for your healthcare organization that can support the following:
- empower data to create high quality personalized products
- create pre-set and easily navigable guardrails
- establish processes that optimize efficiency
- allow you to easily service customers
Retail shopping evolved alongside consumer demand, changing its infrastructure to add choice while remaining agile and therefore competitive. Now healthcare organizations, and payers, need to evolve as well.