SPOTLIGHT: Insurers use social media for consumer outreach

Health insurance companies are starting to use social media to interact with consumers, according to FierceHealthIT. Health plans' most common use of media, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is to send marketing messages and to provide health tips to their customers. Insurers also monitor social media to find out what's being said about them. They may respond to the complaints of plan members in a general way. But if they want to respond in detail, a plan staffer may phone the patient to avoid violating HIPAA prohibitions against revealing patient information in public. Cigna tries to respond to every comment made about it via social media as part of the company's effort to change the image of the insurance industry, which is not popular with most consumers. Other insurers, such as Wellpoint, post videos about individual employees on their Facebook pages in an effort to "humanize" themselves to consumers. --Read the full article at FierceHealthIT

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