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ShiftCentral / Health insurers' essential practices in market intelligence

Health insurers' essential practices in market intelligence

Health insurers need to have best practices in their market intelligence function.

Amazon’s acquisition of PillPack is a story the mainstream media picked up on for multiple reasons: it’s a massive acquisition; it’s a household name that made said acquisition; it’s expected to dramatically change the relationship between consumers and the healthcare industry - including health insurers.

That final point is the most important for health insurers, with the key word being “change.” How does the health insurance company you work for manage change?

There are all kinds of ways to be suggested, but a reliable market intelligence solution will prevent major shocks, and allow your company to adapt to and plan for acquisitions such as PillPack accordingly.

Here are a few things health insurers use market intelligence to monitor.

Industry trends

One trend insurers need to watch that’s far from unique to their industry is the role of technology. The top buzzword that gets used with human use of tech is “smart”, and healthcare is no exception.

Customers have a greater expectation of being able to achieve convenience with their smartphones. When it comes to their health insurance, that could include anything from simply renewing their policy as conveniently as possible, to logging fitness goals to reduce premiums.

Amazon is always hailed as one of the top tech companies, particularly in adapting and innovating with tech: from becoming the top online book retailer, through navigating the demise of physical media to streaming, via respectable customer service.

New entrants

The greatest likelihood is that new entrants to the health insurance space will already be a major business of some kind. Although not 100% clear what their intentions are, it’s looking like Amazon will be an example of this in the not-too-distant future.

For health insurers running MI, monitoring new entrants is essential. With the US health insurance industry in a period of uncertainty due to efforts to repeal Obamacare, there’s no telling what company with the appropriate resources can make a play for whatever will come next.

Traditional competitors

As a precursor to Amazon’s venture into the healthcare market, they needed staff. And, because it’s Amazon, they are in a position to attract the top talent from the industry - including those who previously worked at traditional competitors.

The relevance of this is that monitoring who is leaving traditional competitors for Amazon, and what skillset they possess that they might be bringing to their new employer, should give an idea of what direction the company is going, allowing you to pre-empt aspects that might affect your company’s strategy, and how you can plan to work with it.

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health insurers market intelligence