The technology infrastructure of many health plans today could be described as costly, fragmented and siloed. Rather than focusing on the customer experience, growth and transformation, these plans are responding reactively to business needs and market shifts.
The technology infrastructure of many health plans today could be described as costly, fragmented and siloed. Rather than focusing on the customer experience, growth and transformation, these plans are responding reactively to business needs and market shifts. However, we are seeing innovative CIOs at health plans transforming their traditional operating models to leverage technology that enables the strategic goals of the enterprise while dramatically reducing costs.
A major focus on this journey is establishing a future technology foundation that supports a digitally enabled enterprise. This requires a leader who can assess the current organization's technology; create a roadmap that is business-aligned and clear; build a groundswell of support; and then implement and innovate. Equally important is the significant culture change associated with this shift. This may also necessitate the need for additional talent to enact the roadmap. A high priority is ensuring appropriate security safeguards are in place alongside service delivery and financial stewardship.
Health plan CIOs who are asked to embark on this journey are guided by the principles of improving their members' lives through products, services and reducing costs. These leaders optimize and leverage cutting-edge technology motivated by improving health outcomes for their members. Experienced CIOs at health plans are passionate about improving healthcare, possess deep knowledge of the healthcare landscape, are stewards of their members' time and money and are able to build and lead their teams to advance and innovate technology that is aligned with the business of their health plans.
In our work recruiting for these positions, we have found the core responsibilities of a successful, forward-thinking health plan CIO to include the following:
Some of the ways we are seeing CIOs improve their subscriber's experience is buying over building, organizing data into actionable insights and knowledge, investing in digital transformation and talent, and being agile.
Health plans are seeking dynamic executives to lead information technology that will evolve and grow with the needs of their members. Their mandate is to focus on the customer experience, value-based care, new products and services.
We believe the critical qualities for these leaders are as follows:
Today's health plan CIOs must possess technical knowledge of their field, but more importantly they must show the personality to innovate, engage others in change and take leadership in creating market advantages for their organizations.
Hillary Ross is a managing partner and leader of WittKieffer's Information Technology Practice. Zachary Durst is a senior associate in the practice. WittKieffer is a global executive search firm dedicated exclusively to organizations that improve quality of life in health care, education, the life sciences and the not-for-profit sector.