Research Press Release (Doc #prUS41039816 / Feb 22, 2016)
"Patient of One" Philosophy Required for Success in Payer Market, According to IDC Health Insights


New report outlines architectural approach to unify strategies and technologies

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 22, 2016 – Consumerization in the insurance industry has changed the payers' perception of what one person is as a whole. As a result, adaptation of strategy and technology must change as well. Today's members now demand more personalization from their health plan, referred to as being treated as a "Patient of One." A new IDC Health Insights report, Business Strategy: An Architectural Strategy Driver for Payers – "Patient of One" (Doc #US41021416), examines the opportunity of payers to strategically and technically appreciate, respect, and optimize the concept of a consumer as a whole person, both as a member and a patient.

  • ClickToTweet : IDC Health Insights' new report states that "Patient of One" philosophy is essential for success in payer market

The report's author, Jeff Rivkin, IDC Health Insights Research Director for Payer IT Strategies, suggests optimizing the project portfolio and architectural strategy around a central question: "Does this initiative drive the company to the 'Patient of One' principle?" This concept helps focus the payer organizations on the consumer and centralizes the architectural approach upon the project portfolio. This portfolio approach will counteract the increasingly decentralizing forces of line of business (LOB) funding, IT point solutions, cloud-enablement, year-to-year funding, and the enrollment renewal focus.

Currently four islands of consumer strategy, data, and technology exist in the typical payer organization:

  • Provider information is disjointed and administered all over the payer organization, yet consumers demand updated, accurate information from an increasingly individualized, diverse set of "providers."
  • Clinical patient data is evolving in the medical management or care coordination arm as utilization and disease management migrates to universal care coordination.
  • Administrative Member profile and event data is held in enrollment, claim, and/or payment systems.
  • Marketing and sales are awakening to consumer acquisition, win-back, and speed-to-market paradigms that have been standard in other industries, but are relatively new to payers.

With the advent of cloud technology and the increasing decentralization trends of empowered LOB (individual, group, governmental), there will be a temptation to buy point solutions to attack these islands of data and strategy with particular technologies. Vendors will sell to LOB, and LOB themselves will perceive that their needs are met, giving them flexibility. IDC asserts this scatter-shot momentum must be tempered by an overall strategy and central architecture around a focus on the "Patient of One". To do this, payers must establish governance and architectural principles of procurement and design to rein in LOB buyers. Attacking these islands universally is the challenge. To help payers in this effort, IDC Health Insights offers critical strategy approaches for each of the islands of strategy, data, and technology within the new report.

Rivkin explains, "Payers have disconnected from customers over time; separating the person from the transactional unit processed by the company. Payers separated the patient from their medical service via a claim, the subscriber from their care requirements via a generic one-size-fits-most plan from an employer, the patient from their diverse provider desires via a specified limited network, and the customer services desired via a call center script or Web site. Bill payment focus, mass marketing, internal departmental applications, and claims emphasis is now replaced with data sharing, consumer personalization, enterprise focus, and a partner-in-care mission. Over the next 24-36 months, successful payers will take holistic approaches around the 'Patient of One' and will unify their strategies and technology portfolios with that integrated mindset.

"Consumer demand, network adequacy and directory legislation, virtual care, and more sophisticated network designs will drive 'Provider of One'," Rivkin continued. "Evolving retail-like Omni-Channel marketing approaches and enhanced segmentations will drive 'Prospect of One'. Breakthrough payer-specific CRM technology and cross-LOB approaches will drive a combined interoperable Administrative 'Member of One' and Clinical 'Patient of One'. So, individual drivers are appearing. The architectural challenge will be to take a global approach around the universal 'Patient of One'."

IDC Health Insights concludes that, without this approach, dissatisfied consumers will elect their newly-found option to switch payers frequently, focus on price, cherry-pick, and adopt a short-term mindset in an industry that has deep cultural and administrative roots assuming loyal, renewing members. Costs of acquiring or "winning-back" members are well-documented as being up to five times as much compared to renewing. In an industry stressed by cost, this will be prohibitive.

To arrange a one-on-one briefing with Jeff Rivkin, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact ; reporters should email

About IDC Health Insights

IDC Health Insights assists health businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the payer, provider and life sciences industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call 508-935-4445. Visit the IDC Health Insights Community at

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