Deductibles, Donuts and Health Care Data

Oregon is beautiful in August, making it the perfect place and time to hold our first-ever Product Summit for our health plan clients from around the country. This idea-focused, hands-on gathering was all about collaboration, problem-solving and helping to plan for the HealthSparq solutions of the future. And, in true Portlandia fashion, we made sure to throw in some memorable fun and food.

This event builds off our annual Client Summit event with a specific focus collaboration between health plans and HealthSparq product management to create member experiences of the future. Our team shared our strategic product vision and industry research. Our clients shared their challenges and successes with each other around transparency, engagement and business. And, I’d be remiss if I did not share that there were heated debates on Portland’s best donuts during the donut taste-off.

The day started with my look into where we’re headed with HealthSparq products and services. I spent a little bit of time outlining our vision for HealthSparq over the next three years – how we plan on transforming our products and services to more effectively help people make better and more informed healthcare decisions. Next, Alison Greco, Director of User Experience Design and Research, provided insights on both HealthSparq and industry research on search and digital guidance that impact our near- and long-term roadmaps. Our product management leads, Kelsey Naffziger, Harlan Edlin and Scott Baldwin, also shared where we’re taking the HealthSparq One experience, how we’ll be offering new value and additional experiences for health plan members, and ways the data and logic we have today can support other health plan stakeholders, both internal and external.

One of the most popular parts of Product Summit were the workshops. These hands-on sessions provided deeper discussion and collaboration around topics like member tasks with the plan, engaging and personalizing the member experience and the ever-present topic of member data and insights. Here are some highlights from those discussions:

  • Supporting Member Needs. This is a pretty big topic. The workshops led by Alison Greco brought together plans to talk about the tasks members need to do as users of health insurance and how to make the experiences better. From getting pre-authorization for procedures to viewing claims to selecting a primary care provider to understanding deductibles and status, members have a lot to do. Segmentation was a very hot topic for how plans address different member needs and prioritize addressing their tasks to be done.
  • Delivering Personalization in Many Ways. Our industry talks a lot about the consumerization of health care. But, at the end of the day shopping or a new mobile phone is very different than getting a colonoscopy or dealing with an injury. So, Harlan Edlin, Sr. Manager of Emerging Products, led discussions addressing the importance of personalization and how essential it is to meet members at their point of need. Sometimes that’s just being available for a conversation or providing guidance. Data and team silos make that challenging. However, participants know that we need to solve that in order anticipate, guide and connect with members.
  • Using Data and Analytics. As we like to say here at HealthSparq, there is no shortage of data. What matters is how you use it. That’s the motto of our Sr. Manager of Data and Claims Analytics, Keith Lomurray. Keith led the sessions focused on helping plans support their internal business objectives with member engagement and behavior insights. While plans are challenged with members who don’t think about insurance until they use it, there was valuable discussion around the thread that ties together engagement, behavior and satisfaction. While there is still lots of room for improvement, plans are making strides in using raw data to boost engagement which then, in turn, boosts satisfaction.

At the end of the day, there were a few themes that bubbled up and clearly continue to challenge health plans—complexity and trust. It is clear we need more industry collaboration to address rising health care costs, disjointed member/patient experiences, and help plans compete more effectively in a changing landscape. We’re planning ongoing collaboration with clients on the topics from Product Summit, but also look forward to sitting down with clients and rolling up our sleeves on new opportunities again next year—and having more donuts.