Kicking Off AHIP Institute: Dynamic Change

by Marilyn Tavenner

June 15, 2016

Today I have the honor of delivering the opening remarks at this year’s Institute & Expo. A major theme from this year’s event and one that is playing out across the industry is change. As I will note during my keynote address, we’re on the cusp of the most dynamic changes to health care in the last 50 years. We, as the health insurance community, will be driving these changes in order to ensure the system  provides high-quality, affordable care for consumers. For decades, meaningful cost and quality information has often been difficult for consumers to access. But that’s starting to change.

In health care, information comes in from a variety of sources – from electronic medical records, to consumer-facing technology like fitness monitors, and health care-focused websites. This vast array of information can be complicated and confusing for consumers, especially when faced with important medical decisions.  I think health plans have a tremendous opportunity to be a trusted source for translating health care data about procedures and providers into something patients can understand and use to make informed choices.

Technology must play a key role in this process. A recent study from Deloitte found that rates of consumer technology use in health care are rising rapidly. Some statistics I’ll be sharing with the Institute & Expo audience:

Among Millennials, reliance on health care scorecards to compare the performance of doctors, hospitals, or health plans has grown from 31 percent to 49 percent. Consumers’ use of technology to measure fitness and health improvement goals has grown from 17 in 2013 percent to 28 percent in 2015. Among consumers who have major chronic conditions, tech-based monitoring has jumped from 22 percent to 39 percent.

This study reinforces the reality that health technology, from patient portals to televisits to cost calculators, has the potential to not only inform consumers, but also transform their lives and their health. Health plans continue to leverage digital health technologies in ways that benefit the patient and the health care system – something I’m proud to be part of as AHIP’s president and CEO.

Over the next few days the industry’s top minds will examine the issues that are fundamental to improving our health care system. I hope everyone will leave Institute & Expo as energized and optimistic as I am about the future of health care and the challenging and exciting changes that lay ahead.

Marilyn Tavenner is President and CEO of AHIP.