The health insurance industry has weathered its fair share of difficulties over the years, but none quite like the challenges it’s facing today. Treatment costs are climbing, government regulations are becoming more complex, and newer, more agile players are entering the field, leaving traditional healthcare payers struggling.
Changing consumer attitudes towards insurance as a whole have also made it tougher for the industry to convince certain demographics of its necessity and relevance.
Health insurance companies that are still making use of legacy systems for their core operations are especially vulnerable in the digital age. They are effectively hindering themselves with the technology they use: they are slower to react to the rapid changes in the industry, and they spend much more than their contemporaries on support and maintenance. Older systems are also less secure and easier for malicious actors to exploit.
Using modern health insurance technology can help healthcare payers overcome these issues, as well as any new ones that may present themselves in the future. A robust health insurance ecosystem should be able to eliminate pain points and remove bottlenecks so that a payer can continue to deliver services to those who need them most. Here are its components:
A modern policy administration platform should be both flexible and adaptable. It should be able to easily handle all health insurance lines, from commercial and government programs to specialty insurance for individuals that require unusual coverage. It should also be able to accept enrollments from multiple channels and calculate premiums automatically.
With such a platform, health insurance carriers will be able to deliver more personalized service to the customer and make smarter business decisions regarding enrollment and premium calculations. Making the most of automation also means reduced operational costs in areas such as billing and customer service.
Many customers consider claims adjudication one of the most frustrating parts of the healthcare lifecycle, and for good reason. They are paying more for their premiums, but health insurers can be notoriously slow when it comes to claims processing and management, thus delaying payments. A rules-based claims adjudication platform should be able to deploy automation to its fullest, enabling straight-through, real-time processing of claims benefits. It should also be able to recognize duplicate claims, offer flexible benefit selections, detect automated filing limits, and perform external call-outs to retrieve data from other components in the ecosystem as needed.
Automating claims adjudication doesn’t just benefit the customer. Healthcare payers also benefit from lowered administrative transaction costs.
When performance is directly linked to compensation, it incentivizes providers to make not just the best healthcare decisions for their patients, but also the most cost-effective ones. For this reason, value-based payments are quickly replacing traditional fee-for-service models. However, the shift does complicate the process of reimbursing providers.
Healthcare payers, therefore, need to be able to dynamically set up and support value-based payments. The best way to do so is to find a system that can handle different ways of performing that task. It should be able to harness multiple sources of data to trigger payments automatically, have access to various calculation methods, and offer different options to pay. Not only does a system like this speed up processing times, it also maximizes operational efficiency and reduces administrative costs while helping insurance companies outpace their competitors who may not yet be supporting value-based payment models.
Insurance is an inherently document-heavy industry. Customers and stakeholders alike expect timely and accurate communications from health insurance companies, which is why it is also necessary to have a system dedicated to it. Modern document generation solutions should be able to deliver communications over multiple channels, including print, e-mail, text messaging, social media, and so on. This allows health insurance companies to engage their clients where and how they’d like the interaction to take place, improving efficiency while keeping costs down.
Revenue leakage is a major concern for healthcare payers that are already dealing with increased cost-related pressures and a more competitive market. Reducing administrative overhead while continuing to deliver quality service to members is a priority that can be addressed with a modern billing and revenue management solution. A system that takes full advantage of the benefits of automation while being flexible enough to adapt to the company’s changing business needs will help payers swiftly adapt to unexpected shifts in the market. In addition, insurers will quickly be able to introduce and support new product lines, and remain compliant with emerging government regulations.
By now, it has become apparent that data about products and services is far more valuable than the products and services themselves. Robust data analytics can guide health insurance companies towards better business decisions by offering enhanced insight on both historic and current information available, allowing payers to step confidently into the future.
At this stage of industry-wide technological advancement, insurers who still persist in using legacy systems are in for a rude awakening. Not only will their systems erect an artificial ceiling to their company’s growth. These systems might also be the cause of their company’s closure in favor of more agile, responsive providers.
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