What Uber, Lyft can teach health insurers about customer engagement

Health plans may have a lot to learn from the recent tech boom in the transportation industry--namely, how to provide an amazing customer experience and build customer loyalty.

In an article for Managed Healthcare Executive, Anand Natampalli, the vice president for global sales and business development for Hinduja Global Solutions, writes that companies like Uber and Lyft have succeeded by streamlining and simplifying the customer relationship. These companies have also empowered the customer by introducing competition into the taxi industry.

And in much the same way, the Affordable Care Act has injected more competition into healthcare with the advent of the insurance marketplace, Natampalli writes. The ACA put the power in the hands of the consumers, causing insurance companies to have to improve what they provide in order for consumers to choose their products.

However, health information is not always available across different platforms for the same person. Dental records are not generally available at a primary care physician's office, and vice-versa. This is a hurdle that healthcare needs to solve in order to keep up with consumer demands, Natampalli argues.

"When consumers interact with Uber, or Amazon, or Apple, they are no longer surprised to learn that the company knows their last purchase, their buying preferences, their birthdays and other personal information," Natampalli writes. "When insurers fail to deliver an equally seamless and simple experience, members can become frustrated."

Some insurers have begun to take note, however. Brian Garcia, chief technology officer for Aetna's Healthagen previously told FierceHealthPayer that he thinks insurers should mimic technology startups by breaking down their product development process into smaller sections that are tested on consumers several times and refined frequently. Furthermore, the ability of Amazon and Netflix to assess consumer preferences provides useful lessons for insurance marketplace design. 

To learn more:
- read the article

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