6 trends that took the spotlight at AHIP Institute 14

Retail, health IT and value were among the hot topics at this year's AHIP Institute in Seattle

A lot of activity went on at this year's AHIP Institute in Seattle, and FierceHealthPayer editors were there to cover it all. After sitting in on sessions, interviewing experts, chatting with attendees and analyzing our experience, the FierceHealthPayer editors noticed several trends that took the spotlight during the annual conference--namely, that insurers should emulate the retail industry, become even more consumer focused and make sure information is integrated. Other topics of interest included care delivery, healthcare costs and value-based payments.

Here's a summary of the six topics that took center stage at AHIP Institute.

1. Retail revolution

The AHIP Institute opened its 2014 conference with a panel of experts from the retail industry. Former Trader Joe's CEO Doug Rauch said insurance companies looking to become more customer-centric must first look within. They should ask themselves "Why do we exist? What's our purpose?"

Rauch explained that being customer-centric requires "congruence in the organization, not just a separate department" that addresses customer needs. "It must be driven all the way down through the company so that everyone recognizes" the need of prioritizing the customer, he added.

Cambia Health highlighted the need for a retail-oriented perspective--with consumer-facing tools and enhanced transparency--to address the needs of the individual instead of the institution. That approach is what Rob Coppedge, Cambia's SVP of Strategic Investment and Corporate Development, called the health plan 2.0. To thrive as a health plan 2.0, Coppedge told FierceHealthPayer that insurers also must shift to value-based payments and better support caregivers and seniors.