New IDC Health Insights Report Examines How to Engage Consumers in Post-Health Reform Market


Framingham, MAJune 19, 2014IDC Health Insights today announced the availability of a new report, "Engaging Consumers in a Post-Health Reform Market," (Doc # HI248922) designed to help payers effectively reach and engage their various member populations segments.   Analyst Deanne Kasim outlines the key considerations, strategies and tools available and offers best practices from the retail industry as reference. 

In a post-health reform environment, payers must develop new strategies to obtain and maximize the attention, interest and loyalty of a new group of consumers from the individual policy marketplace.  Successful and meaningful consumer engagement requires a holistic approach to the patient's needs, including financial and behavioral needs. It requires a systems approach to the decisions facing the consumer in terms of what benefit services are purchased and how the entire insurance system is navigated.  And payers are beginning to adjust their health IT expenditures accordingly. According to the IDC Health Insights Perspective: Healthcare Payer — Analytics Investments 2013 and a 2014 Top 5 Preview, (#HI243429), "Consumer engagement will once again represent a leading priority for analytics investments for 2014. Health plans will continue aggressive investments across a broad spectrum of technologies and solutions". In addition, 36% of health plans surveyed in IDC Health Insights' Healthcare Payer Technology and Business Investment Survey indicated they had appointed a chief consumer communication or engagement officer (December,2012).

Key Highlights of the report include:

  • Consumer engagement practices and IT tools in the payer market are still in the early stages of maturity compared to the more sophisticated marketing and communication practices, analytics, Web-based and mobile tools of the retail industry.
  • While focusing on the individual consumer as a growing market niche, payers still need to collaborate with employers, who are still searching for an effective combination of benefit program design and incentives to deliver improved and sustainable health outcomes.
  • Completely understanding the key demographic, health literacy, economic and other key differences between consumer segments is a mandatory requirement for any successful payer organization.
  • Payers need to utilize the comprehensive resources of their marketing, strategic planning, consumer engagement, and other appropriate departments to develop effective strategies and outreach efforts to target and engage growing and evolving consumer groups of Medicaid and Medicare Advantage recipients, public health insurance marketplace enrollees, special needs and other carve out plans, and small employers.
  • Analytical tools providing a comprehensive map of the consumer journey in navigating the health benefit system are critical for successful payer managers.
  • Payer organizations need to learn best practices from the retail industry. For example, the next generation of payer mobile applications should tie into CRM applications and analytics to know more about how consumers are using these tools, and what information they are finding to be most beneficial. More meaningful content and functionality can be built into mobile applications with this analysis information.

According to Deanne Kasim, Research Director, IDC Health Insights, "The shift to a more consumer-centric model has been a difficult transition for many payers who have long-standing traditions of the business-to-business model of insurance. Payers that diversify how consumers are engaged will ultimately improve the way patients experience and participate in their own care, select health insurance benefit options, and utilize the care delivery system. An effective combination of a thoughtful, all-inclusive consumer messaging platform and an effective communications campaign can be supported by a mix of traditional Web-based and newer mobile-based IT applications."

For additional information about this report or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Deanne Kasim, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact; reporters should email

About IDC Health Insights

IDC Health Insights assists health businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the payer, provider and life sciences industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 508-935-4445. Visit the IDC Health Insights Community at

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For more information, contact:

Anna Di Pietro

Sarah Murray