LONDON – The health insurer of the future will have to learn to embrace and balance the use of home health technology if it is going to thrive in a transforming market, according to a new report from accounting firm PwC.
The report, “The Health Insurer of the Future,” gathered responses from a survey of more than 100 insurance executives, and more than 1,700 American adults and health care leaders. It acknowledges the health industry is experiencing significant uncertainty as powerful forces work to reshape it and as a new administration settles into Washington, D.C., promising a wave of change.
“To succeed in these uneven times, health insurers should make choices now about business model changes that will position them to prosper in the future,” the report says.
To succeed, insurers should consider balancing technology with a human touch and investing in a workforce that includes those experienced in data analytics and advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain, according to the report.
That’s in line with work insurers are doing to change their role from a gatekeeper between consumers and their doctors, to a facilitator of better care, says Harry Wang, senior director of research at Parks Associates.
“That’s easier said than done because there’s plenty of legacy interest in maximizing premium collection and minimizing payout,” he said. “But it’s a strategy that sooner or later most private insurers will adopt because other options simply won’t work out in the long-term.”
Investing more in what consumers do at home and how to improve their care at home will become a critical area of operation for doctors and their partner, the insurers, said Wang.
“Collectively, they have to rely on more home health technology to reach and engage their patients and practice care services in a different way than doing it in their office,” he said. “Home health technology is thus very much to the core of their transformation.”