The DMV of HIT

Aaron Fulner

Improving the health plan partner experience during Open Enrollment

“I’m really looking forward to going to the DMV today!”, said no one…..ever. Think back to the times you had to go to the DMV. The feeling of dread pulling into the full parking lot (even if you got there an hour before they opened…), the feeling of exasperation as you stood in line for what seemed to be an eternity and then the elation of it finally being your turn…only to find out you filled out the wrong form. I’m sure most of us can relate.

This isn’t quite the case anymore. Many of the reasons that we would have go to the DMV in the past can now be handled online allowing us (for the most part) to avoid the nightmare scenario outlined above. Health plans, as we near Open Enrollment period, how do you think your enrollment partners (employer groups, brokers, TPAs, etc…) view the enrollment process with you? Would they consider it highly collaborative and streamlined with adequate process visibility? Or would they consider it a process fraught with manual processes, limited to no automation and lacking demonstrable automation?

Unfortunately for many health plans, it is the latter and not the former. This scenario can lead to increased operational costs, partner abrasion and dissatisfaction and possibly revenue loss. Health plans must avoid these consequences if they intend to mitigate revenue loss and continue to be the plan partner of choice for the employer groups and other channel partners both inside and outside the Open Enrollment period. Key capabilities must be deployed by health plans that are designed reduce costs associated with group on-boarding, decrease open enrollment operational costs and empower groups through self-service. This approach will lead to improved partner and member satisfaction, and hopefully improved revenue stability, via enhanced collaboration and visibility.

As with the DMV, health plans must evolve their partner experience or (unlike the DMV) they run the risk of falling out of favor with the channel partners and losing them due to dissatisfaction and frustration. Sounds like the DMV could have benefited from a healthy dose of competition. But then again we would have missed out on all those DMV jokes…