Large Health Insurance Provider Sprints into the Digital Age with a Curate Team
A large health insurance company in the Northeast was losing customers and needed to enhance its digital technology to keep pace with competitors. The disruptive nature of the industry’s advancements had put the insurer at a competitive disadvantage: its customer experience was suffering, hardware and software were outdated; and IT couldn’t take on new projects. In addition, the insurer didn’t feel it had in-house developers who understood the speed and transparency expectations of Digital Age customers.
The insurer’s future was on the line. It could take radical steps to give customers more convenience and insight in managing their health care choices or it could scale back and yield its once-dominant position. The insurer decided to thrive and invest in a digital transition
Testimonial from the client“I mostly got resumes back from the others,” he says. “The people at Curate came over to talk more about my challenges. They made it a point to understand our needs. They brought a partnership touch and listened to the problems I was trying to solve.”
Crossroads decisions often make for legendary stories. Sometimes, a great idea changes a company, but more often, market forces drive transitions – and no market force in the last 50 years has driven change more thoroughly and rapidly than digital technology.
Of course, change has landmines unless it is managed well, and that is why companies often look outside for firms with experience in driving and managing change.
This health insurer did just that when it set its new course. It brought on a new technology leader, who then looked to Curate Partners for the partnership to create the digital transition.
The new team helped analyze data to set goals and priorities, then mapped, managed and executed the digital transformation, which included website and mobile app development and launch.
The mobile app was the transitional lynchpin, and it was an immediate success, with more than a half-million downloads in the first year – a resounding ratification of leadership’s new strategy and a hardy endorsement of Curate’s partnership.
Today, you’ll find Curate talent in digital and IT, as the insurer finds more value-added ways to take advantage of a partnership it knows will keep it at the vanguard in this era of rapidly changing technology.
Using Technology Talent from Outside Makes Good Business Sense
Digital technology is changing health care on every imaginable front, and patients are using many of these advances to become more active and self-sufficient in managing their care.
Recognizing this trend, one of the largest health insurance firms in the northeastern United States identified improving the digital customer experience as pillar of its competitive strategy.
The company brought in a vice president to direct its digital transition, and he needed to move quickly.
“We lacked the technology to get to the consumers where they are today. Our customers have expectations of speed and convenience, and we weren’t using all those digital touch points to make it easy for them to manage their care,” the director says."
“We needed a team that could put themselves in the shoes of the consumer and understand how to best deliver that user experience," he says.
“I needed talent who understood health care and knew how to use technology to transform a complex system into a high-level user experience. That’s not a combination you find easily in most businesses," he says.
The company’s internal IT team couldn’t exclusively dedicate staff for the project, and the director says he was told it would take more than 18 months to develop the app in-house.
His challenges were familiar: a tight timeline, limited budget, and a shallow internal talent pool.
Forging a Partnership
He turned to Curate Partners, an organization that specializes in bridging the talent gap in digital transformation and technology innovation.
Curate had a record of success with the vice president at his previous job in health care, where he managed the digital customer experience.
Initially, he sent out the job requirements to four or five technology staffing agencies.
“I mostly got resumes back from the others,” he says. “The people at Curate came over to talk more about my challenges. They made it a point to understand my challenges. They brought a partnership touch and listened to the problems I was trying to solve."
At the project’s height, Curate had 35 consultants working as a distributed team on the digital transformation.
Developing a Mobile App
One of the team’s primary goals was to develop a mobile app for the health insurance customers. The portal helps users easily access their benefits, get real-time updates on claims and deductibles, and chat securely in real-time with member services representatives.
“Doing it in-house would have been a lot more expensive and resource-intensive. Assembling the right teams, finding space — the logistics would have been painful," the transition director says. “We had never had an app before. We wanted to go to market within six months, but we didn’t know whether it would take us nine months, a year or longer.
“Curate helped us figure out what it would take. Curate gave us designers and developers. They gave us an account manager, a product lead, and they project-managed and did concepts and designs," he says. “The project manager was amazing; she seamlessly juggled teams across three time zones."
The app was completed within six months and on budget. It had 40,000 downloads in the first month and reached more than 500,000 users in less than one year.
Call Center Benefits
In addition, the self-serve app has reduced call center volume, allowing customer service representatives to focus more on complex care solutions. The strategic benefits of using Curate as a staffing partner are getting the attention of other departments.
The insurer now also uses Curate talent in IT and branding.
Testimonial from the client"I’ve even told friends in the technology business about Curate,” the vice president says. “We’re actually a small community in the technology business and when you have a good strategy, we don’t mind telling others about it."
App completed on time and on budget
Increased customer engagement
Broader Member Reach
More than 500,000 app users in first year
Enhanced customer service
Improved user experience
Focus & Clarity
Call center can focus on more complex customer care solutions
No stress on internal IT