Experts are predicting that this will be a pivotal year for healthcare: a “more engaged and empowered consumer [is] driving the market, and providers [are] finally recognizing that they have to work with their patients rather than just for them.” Similarly, health insurers will need to strengthen the relationship that they they have with their members. The popularity of high-deductible health plans means that consumers are taking control of their health management and now shopping around for the best deal.  Insurers who embrace cost transparency tools will be able to partner with their consumer in keeping costs down for the member and organization.

To further elevate and dive deeper into the consumer experience, carriers who integrate consumer analytics with transparency tools, will uncover more opportunities to add value to the customer experience. By having this added intelligence at their fingertips, carriers can swiftly address member needs and improve brand affinity within their health plan.

2016 may well be the year of the consumer in healthcare.

Wait a minute: That same prediction was made 12 months ago.

Let’s try this again. Whereas 2015 saw the consumer and healthcare provider collaborate on care management, this coming year that very same consumer will take charge and direct his or her care management plans.

“2016 will be the year of the consumerization of healthcare,” says Nick van Terheyden, chief medical officer of Dell’s Healthcare and Life Sciences division and a man who’d had many different roles in the growing mHealth/telehealth/digital health movement around the globe. “We are all fact-checkers now. We all have access to incredible amounts of information.”

The driving force behind this concept is consumer engagement – what van Terheyden calls “the blockbuster drug of the century.” It holds the top spot on the to-do list for a vast majority of health systems and healthcare providers in the coming year. That’s because an engaged consumer will be more responsive to care management, especially after the visit to the hospital, clinic or doctor’s office (and that can either be in person or virtually).

Better engagement means better adherence, and that means reduced costs and waste and better clinical outcomes. That also means the consumer will return to that health system or doctor when the need arises. Read the entire story here

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