Uncertainty regarding health insurance exchanges is not going away. Changing enrollment deadlines and newly insured populations have brought challenges to payers and providers. Success will require staying competitive on price, network quality, and access.
To succeed, a health plan needs new capabilities, such as flexible network management and an unprecedented level of coordination between payers and providers. Payers must be agile enough to adjust network strategies on the fly, as they learn more about newly enrolled populations. They need the ability to administer more complex product designs, care delivery. and reimbursement initiatives quickly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, current network operations often struggle because of multiple sources of provider data, disconnected reimbursement systems, and manual loading between network management and contract management. As the need for administrative savings grows and networks and reimbursement arrangements increase in number and complexity, the problem with existing systems will increase.
The road ahead requires preparation and challenges to current assumptions. Here is a template for health plans to drive their activity on the health insurance exchange:
Fundamental to any exchange activity is staying nimble as marketplace complexity increases with the roll-out. Network, contract, and reimbursement operations must be able to respond to change quickly, while improving synchronization and automation to keep pace.
Michael Flanagan is associate vice president for product management at McKesson Health Solutions. He has more than 14 years of product management experience and works with the company’s network and claim management tools.