One interesting outcome of regulatory reform in health care is seeing the use of the word "customer" filter into the dialogue in the industry.
The context for that development in the United States’ health care industry is upheaval not seen in any sector of the economy since the government-mandated breakup of the monopoly Bell Telephone System in the mid-1980s.
At the same time, technology is radically transforming health care, and the precedent in communications is how the Bell System breakup coincided with the commercialization of innovations such as voice mail, mobile telephones and the internet, to name a few. So will this upheaval in health care also usher in great innovations? I think it’s quite likely – and one big question is, “Who will do the innovating?”
In times of change, the organizations that thrive are the ones that adapt, often ending up operating alongside new players that might do things that were previously unimaginable. I imagine the same will hold true in health care as it evolves.
We’ve already seen adaptation taking place among health insurance plans in fundamentally strategic ways, and two standouts include Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Florida’s GuideWell Connect (GWC) - an affiliate of FloridaBlue. The most striking changes have involved the ways they engage with their customers, essentially orienting their organizational direction more toward individual members’ needs and desires and not so much as a consequence of regulatory requirements.
As a health insurance customer, I could not be more excited. As a marketer, I could not be more intrigued. Read More