If anyone asks me what I do at GetInsured, my answer is that I’m a “connector of the dots”.  My role is to work with our health plan clients to understand their needs, look for synergistic alignments with our strategy, and collaborate on a daily basis.  I then work with the many different departments and functional areas within our client organizations to ‘connect the dots’ and help our clients meet their goals.  I’ve seen first hand the difference that this approach makes and how it leads to strong partnerships.

This is the first in a series of my “connecting the dot” posts where I will be sharing with you some of the insights I gain in helping clients implement and expand their private exchanges. In this first post I’ll focus on what makes a private exchange successful from the ground level.

I’ve spent the last 16 months working closely with our clients, and it’s clear that sustained success requires not only robust technology and data integration expertise – it also needs the right level of partnership between health plan and marketplace vendor.

My experience working with Highmark Health Services is a good example. In large organizations like health plans, you need to know who to call for what and how decision making happens. You need the right champions in place, documented processes that are tested regularly to be sure they are based in reality, and the ability to make changes quickly as needed.  We’ve worked on all of these areas, and continue to do so every day.

On a more strategic level, what we know is that it’s important to ensure you have a way to sift through the noise. And that’s a better process when it’s done collaboratively as well.

To elaborate — anytime there is a new, exciting project in place, especially one that involves new technology, people come up with lots of ideas about how to change it, creative ways to use it, and new directions to take. On an ongoing basis, we are sorting through all the good ideas and potential new directions as the market and business needs evolve.  We’re involving Highmark Health Services departments responsible for sales, product, broker relationships, compliance, marketing, IT, strategic operations, etc.

Strategy, it’s often been said, is the process of determining what NOT to do. Being effective at figuring out what to do and what not to do has enabled us to increase the number of groups on the exchange more than tenfold since launch. And, product participation rates, as well as sales of ancillary products, have increased in a big way.

The idea of collaboration is much easier than the practice of it.  But done right, it makes all the difference.

I look forward to sharing more insights with you down the road.