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Healthcare changes bode ill for insurers


U.S. health insurers face an unhealthy future unless they make radical changes in how they do business, according to a report from IBM.

The report, Healthcare 2015 and U.S. Health Plans: New Roles, New Competencies, says that as consumers take on more financial responsibility for their healthcare, they will demand more flexible insurance, better customer service, more accountability from health insurers and providers and more openness in costs and quality. To flourish in that environment, insurers will have to adapt.

“In this emerging environment, consumers will quickly become more motivated to make better health and wealth decisions. Such changing market dynamics will in turn create new opportunities and daunting pressures for health insurers,” said Dan Pelino, General Manager, IBM Global Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry. “Health plans that recognize the ‘retailization’ of healthcare and then successfully transform to provide new delivery models and services will prosper, while those that fail to do so will face rapid marginalization.”


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