From Saurabh Sinha, Founder & CEO,  I was fortunate to be invited to the AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans)/ Nashville Health Care Council Health Care 2015 CEO Forum at AHIP’s Institute 2015 on June 3 and was privileged to anchor an executive round table on ‘Digital Disruptions: Shaping the Future of Health’. The round table followed a talk by Chris Dancy, famously known as the “the world’s most connected human”, the Chief Digital Officer of Healthways. At the round table, we discussed various aspects of digital health such as: consumer adoption of wearables; impact on behavioral change; how are organizations preparing for digital/mobile technology in healthcare and with what goals in mind; what are the obstacles for better/greater use of digital health technology; how are data, technology, and analytics combining to improve the consumer health experience; what are the hidden health privacy and security threats associated with Digital Health and Big Data; and finally, where did the participating executives see digital health in 10 years. At my round table, there were several Payer executives from health plans and I learned several things:

  1. While the wearable market is promising, most wearables are not partnering with Payers due to perceived conflict of interest by consumers. So, Payers are taking different approaches and letting members self-report.
  2. Consumer behavior change is happening through the right incentive models. One of the round table executives gave an example of how they assign a ‘healthy score’ to each grocery purchase made by the member. A score of 100 is perfect so members know when they complete a grocery purchase how healthy that basket is for their family. Families/members consistently purchasing healthy baskets are given premium reductions over time.
  3. Another aspect of consumer behavior change is to share non-threatening messages with the members. In the above example of a grocery basket, there is no penalty for an unhealthy basket. It is just a number that the member is aware of and higher scores give incentives. Health plans have learned that penalties don’t work at all but rather push the relationship between them and the member into crisis.
  4. Health plans are increasingly working with self-insured employers on wellness management initiatives.
  5. Most of the executives visualized a health plan to be the ‘usability layer’ of healthcare consumer’s needs in ten years. This would mean consumers who have a HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) can be guided by the health plan on best health habits, most efficient and high quality care providers, and how to best use their healthcare dollars.

Other topics covered at the CEO forum were:

  1. Winning through unlikely allies – here the discussion was about innovative partnerships in the industry; and
  2. Connecting consumers to the new health economy – where the discussion was about the different changes happening to make healthcare a more consumer-centric industry.

It was an exhilarating and intense full day forum, and all of the speakers were an excellent watch.

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