HEALTH PLANS: Most Employ E-Strategy, Yet Few Fully In Place
While 70% of the nation's health plan executives said they have a "formal e-strategy" in place, only 20% of health plans allow online enrollment and only 30% allow providers to submit authorizations online, according to two new surveys by the First Consulting Group. The studies surveyed health plan executives to identify the e-health goals and objectives of 27 plans and assessed the capabilities, quality and effectiveness of 59 health plan Web sites. Health plan executives identified reductions in administrative costs and an increase in consumer and provider satisfaction as their primary objectives. Respondents also indicated that "the most important reasons for developing Web sites are to improve connectivity, information sharing and transaction processing." However, most plans are in the early stages of implementing their formal strategies, focusing primarily on members and providers. Jane Metzger, vice president of First Consulting Group's Emerging Practices Group, said, "The good news is that the e-health space is evolving so rapidly that those in early stages can surge ahead, presenting a real challenge for current leaders -- there is no room for complacency, regardless of market share" (Fernandes, San Francisco Business Times, 2/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.