SOURCE: Chilmark

Chilmark

January 21, 2014 07:43 ET

Payer Adoption of Emerging Consumer Tech: Chilmark Report Explores How Innovative Payers Are Pursuing the Digital Consumer Space Amid Shifting Macro Factors

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - Jan 21, 2014) - The erosion of the traditional health insurance business model, along with rapidly evolving digital consumer technologies, are compelling payers to seek out digital consumer technologies for both population health management and member engagement & loyalty, according to Chilmark Research's newly released report: 2013 Payer Benchmark Report: Payer Adoption of Emerging Consumer Tech.

The report describes a rapidly shifting payer world. Over the past 12 months, the ACA/Obamacare has come to be seen as inevitable, and Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX) are forcing payers to seek out new places in the minds of consumers and within the broader healthcare ecosystem -- with an increasing focus on engaging and retaining consumers.

In addition, payer-provider realignment is ongoing, and hospitals are partnering directly with employers or launching health plans that might compete with payers in the employer market. Likewise, some payers are acquiring providers to more closely align financial interests with healthcare services delivered. All this bodes well for rising interest in payer-provider-aligned population health management and digital patient engagement technologies.

Outside of healthcare, the consumer tech space continues to defy expectations, with low-cost activity tracking technologies spreading beyond early adopters over the past year. As the traditional health insurance business model erodes, this rapidly evolving consumer tech market along with other macro factors is pushing payers toward the digital consumer in several different ways than before.

Notably, payers have drastically pulled back from their flurry of experimentation in 2012, and are now focusing their efforts into fewer, more precise areas where they believe market traction awaits. In addition, the rush to create mobile app versions of member service portals has slowed, as have health & wellness app launches.

While payers may have pulled back from rapid experimentation along certain lines, this does not mean that they have given up on the digital consumer. To the contrary, we continue to see growing investment in payer-owned consumer data aggregation platforms, biometric tracking initiatives, the next generation of social media platforms, and more -- all detailed in the report.

This report profiles an expanded set of payers as compared to the first edition -- looking across the broad payer market of commercial and non-commercial "Blues", as well as provider-aligned categories. These innovative healthcare organizations are exploring the wild west of digital consumer engagement and learning as they go. The report describes this experimentation in detail, what initiatives are working and why, and where promising new opportunities lie.

Copies of the report are available to subscribers of the Chilmark Advisory Service or may be purchased separately. Inquiries should be addressed to Sean Campbell at sean@chilmarkresearch.com

About Chilmark Research
Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on the most transformational trends in healthcare IT. We combine proven research methodologies with intelligence and insight to provide cogent analyses of the emerging technologies that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare. We do not shy away from making tough calls, and are respected in the industry for our direct and thoughtful commentary. For more information visit: www.chilmarkresearch.com

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