SOURCE: Chilmark Research

Chilmark Research

August 21, 2012 08:05 ET

Chilmark Research Report Assesses Payer Adoption of Emerging Consumer Technologies

Insurers Leveraging Social Media, Mobile Health and Games to Support Patient Engagement and Survive the Shift Toward Accountable Care

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - Aug 21, 2012) - Health insurers have struggled for years to influence and change members' unhealthy behaviors with mixed success. More recently, leading innovators among health insurers are leveraging innovative, easy-to-use consumer technologies to increase the success of their member engagement strategies. While the majority of these initiatives are in their infancy, early results show promise according to a report released today by Chilmark Research.

The report, Benchmark Report: Payer Adoption of Emerging Consumer Tech examines over 40 pioneering programs that health insurers are deploying which use such common consumer technologies as social media, games and mobile apps to get consumers to participate in health, wellness and disease management programs.

"The passage of the Affordable Care Act is forcing a major restructuring of the healthcare sector and health insurers must innovate to demonstrate value to their customers (employers) and improve margins. As the industry shifts from a fee-for-service to outcomes-based reimbursement models, insurers are implementing several strategies to survive in this new world order," said John Moore, founder and managing partner of Chilmark Research. "These pressures will be exacerbated by health reform extending health coverage to 30 million Americans who previously lacked insurance and 78 million Baby Boomers who began turning 65 years of age in 2011 at a rate of 10,000 per day."

One of the report's findings is that significant improvements in consumer technologies, their growing adoption and use and the introduction of low-cost, biometric devices is making it easier for health insurers to tackle those challenges. From mobile apps to social media, text messaging, games and others, numerous consumer technologies are being considered and deployed by leading innovative health insurers. These innovators are partnering with third parties or developing applications in-house. A few have gone so far as to acquire software companies.

"Despite the over 40 consumer technology-enabled patient engagement strategies profiled in this report, the industry is still very much in the early-innovator, adoption stage," stated Moore. "The vast majority of health insurers remain sitting on the sidelines. For these insurers, this benchmark report will provide a comprehensive scan on the state of adoption, use and success of these innovative programs. The report also provides detailed recommendations as to how these insurers should pursue their own strategic initiatives."

Moore continues: "The report will also prove valuable for software and service vendors as well as healthcare providers lending insight on the nascent engagement strategies of health insurers and the implications of these strategies to their own lines of business."

To learn more or purchase Chilmark Research Benchmark Report: Payer Adoption of Emerging Consumer Tech, visit http://chilmarkresearch.com/available-reports/.

About Chilmark Research
Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on the healthcare IT market. Leveraging proven research methodologies and focus with intelligence and insight, we provide our clients with the most cogent analysis of healthcare IT market adoption trends. For more information, go to: http://chilmarkresearch.com/ or call 617-615-9344. Follow Chilmark Research on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/john_chilmark.

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