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Human Touch Still Matters To Consumers: Florida Blue

posted by AHIP

on October 10, 2019

On The Next Big Thing in Health, Florida Blue’s President and CEO Pat Geraghty sat down with hosts Laura Evans and AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles to discuss how Florida Blue’s retail centers provide a personal touch to the health care experience, how to make health care personal in the midst of rapid digital innovation, improving patient outcomes, and more.

Listen to the full interview on AppleSpotifySoundcloud, and Stitcher.

Laura Evans: What is the Florida Blue retail center and what do you offer inside of the centers?

Pat Geraghty: One of the stories I like to tell about the retail centers is that we were opening one in Tallahassee. I was there for the grand opening, and someone runs up to me and says “why would you build brick and mortar? Everything can be done online today. Everything should be done online. You’re wasting money here.”

And my response was: “Why did Apple build Apple stores?” Our product is even more personal to the user. And therefore, we want that interaction with our customers.

And, the proof is in the pudding. Last year we had almost 400,000 unique customer visits to our retail centers. If you go to our retail centers, you’re seeing a 92% satisfaction rate for customer service. You can actually walk in and we’ll deal with your claim, face to face.

We have clinicians there who will set a health improvement plan for you based on your particular needs. We do education classes, so we’ll talk to people about nutrition counseling, we’ll do flu shots.

Some of our communities have said to us that they want yoga classes. We do yoga classes. In the last retail center I was in, there were 65 seniors doing yoga in the middle of our center. So, we really build these centers around this question: what are the health improvements and health solutions that the community needs and wants.

Laura Evans: What are the technologies you believe could have the largest and most immediate impact on health care and improving patient outcomes and the delivery of care?

Pat Geraghty: So, I think there’s a couple of different spaces that I would highlight. One is in analytics, where we’re looking at data to help us understand not just what happened – we do that, and we have done a lot of that – but what will happen.

Predictive analytics is really the thing that will make a difference. Helping us know who is going to get ill, and how can we work with them to prevent that or push that off. If you’re highlighting different issues that actually show people they’re at risk, and you’re bringing services to somebody ahead of when they get sick, that’s really value-added. So, I think that particular service is definitely one that we’re underscoring.

Also, if we can make it possible for people to have their chronic issues dealt with in the home setting, as opposed to through all the regular institutional settings, that’s a much more comfortable way to do things. We’re finding a lot more people are very interested in being taken care of in that manner. So, those are two areas I would highlight.


Laura Evans: What is it that technology does well? What do people do well? And how do you bring the two together to collaborate, complement each other?

Matt Eyles: I’ll start with the people part first. People – you hope – are good listeners. They can really understand someone because they’re able to hear how a person is saying certain words or read their expressions. People are able to understand how important something is, or what’s really troubling them.

Technology hasn’t gotten there yet, and that’s probably a good thing. Maybe it will, one day, with artificial intelligence. But today, technology is able to help simplify, to provide fast answers, to really leverage data and resources. And it’s able to help people connect when they can’t have a face-to-face connection with someone else.

Also, technology can help people understand what their options are, what the best path might be based on circumstances that you didn’t even know about yourself. That’s becoming more common as were learning more about artificial intelligence and other really smart technologies.

So, we want to marry them together so that were improving the patient consumer experience, making it easier, simpler. While at the same time also making it personal.

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