Health is a treasured asset, yet its unpredictability can lead to unforeseen challenges. In the United States, an unexpected emergency or essential surgery can prove financially overwhelming without the safety net provided by healthcare insurance companies. These institutions serve as champions for Americans seeking healthcare services, standing at the forefront of the healthcare industry.
As our technological landscape rapidly evolves, the operations of healthcare insurance providers are increasingly dependent on digital platforms for data management and service delivery. Critical applications and other advanced technologies have revolutionized patient care and changed the way health insurance companies streamline their processes, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance communication among healthcare professionals.
Consequently, collaboration platforms such as Webex by Cisco and Microsoft Teams, along with cloud service providers like AWS, have become indispensable in the day-to-day operations of health insurers. These technological advancements play a vital role in the digital transformation of the healthcare system, bridging the gap between healthcare providers and patients with insurance coverage in real time.
Critical Role of the Internet in Digital Health and Health Insurance
Digital acceleration has been significantly reshaping the health insurance industry. Insurance companies are quickly embracing advanced technological developments that streamline workflows, reinvent the patient experience, and add considerable value to payers of health insurance policies.
These technological advancements are revolutionizing areas such as pricing, underwriting, and claims management for insurance providers. With the help of cutting-edge algorithms, health data can be analyzed for precise, predictive outcomes. This enables insurance companies to offer more personalized health insurance plans, thereby improving efficiency in claims management, reducing fraudulent insurance claims, and increasing profitability.
The healthcare industry, like many others, is increasingly reliant on the Internet as a primary conduit for data transmission. In the case of large health insurers, this means that any unnoticed performance issues may cause service disruptions. These disruptions can, in turn, delay decisions on care or the processing of claims, potentially impacting patient well-being.
This evolving use of digital infrastructure in healthcare services underscores the importance of a reliable network. Such a network is critical for maintaining employee productivity and operational efficiency, and ensuring customer satisfaction through the swift and efficient handling of insurance claims.
Adapting to Hybrid Work and Overcoming the Troubleshooting Blame Game
One major health insurance company and ThousandEyes customer recently underwent such a digital acceleration. With an employee base of around 45,000 people—and up to 90,000 end users when contractors are included—the company’s IT leaders were keen to get better visibility into their applications as they migrated out of traditional data centers and into the cloud.
After the transition to hybrid work, the company's IT footprint underwent a significant change. It expanded from supporting 450 physical offices to 45,000 home offices. This drastic change necessitated a revision in their IT strategy to ensure visibility and productivity were maintained.
“We wanted to give the same kind of experience for our associates both as they are working from home and when they are working from the office,” said the health insurance company's director of networking.
During this process, the Internet became the company's primary mode of communication and data transport. As is often the case, the IT team experienced issues when attempting to troubleshoot end users’ concerns over the Internet. This often led to a blame game or “finger-pointing” when trying to identify and resolve the problems.
“Many times when we have Internet issues, it's very difficult to say which provider is responsible,” said the director of networking.
Elevating Business Communication With Data-driven Insights
The health insurance company found a powerful ally in ThousandEyes, gaining substantial visibility into their application performance as accessed by home users over the Internet. Using a combination of Endpoint Agents, Cloud Agents, and Enterprise Agents made this possible.
"We could correlate all of this data and identify the root cause and the problem, which enabled us to address the issue quickly," shared the director of networking.
Additionally, the company began utilizing ThousandEyes to score user experience and track it as a crucial operational metric. Given the strong correlation between quality user experience and productivity, presenting results around these benchmarks emerged as a significant way to demonstrate value. Doing so has improved communication between the IT team and business leaders since, as the director of networking points out, they "now speak the same language."
The company's interactions with external clients also improved with the visibility provided by ThousandEyes. The director of networking highlighted their ability to "avoid finger-pointing" by using data-driven insights to pinpoint accurately where an issue resides within their digital ecosystem. In one instance, during a partnership with one of the largest credit card validation companies in North Carolina, the health insurer could precisely identify and rectify an ISP issue. This data-backed and network-agnostic analysis, made possible by ThousandEyes, showed that the issue did not originate from either their partner's network or theirs but from an intermediary ISP.
Lastly, the health insurance company used ThousandEyes to monitor ISP latency. When latency reached a certain threshold, ThousandEyes would trigger alerts and initiate an intelligent failover process between ISPs. This strategic move significantly improved the company's network reliability and user experience.
Ultimately, by ensuring reliable digital experiences with health insurers, consumers can zero in on wellness, and medical professionals can devote their attention to medical care, resulting in improved customer experience and care for all.