What Insurers Need to Lower Healthcare Cost and Increase its Quality

Finance | Insight | Published 03. Oct. 16

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Insurers use data and analytics to see how healthcare costs develop, but they need these two things to be able to offer more affordable but higher quality products and services, according to Rabobank’s Executive Development Vice President Ivo van Bilsen and Menzis’ Financial Risk Officer Johan Halverhout.



Inclusiveness and the idea that everyone is welcome – young, old, sick, or healthy – are emphasized in Rabobank’s culture. Sounds like something any bank would say? Not really, says Executive Development Vice President Ivo van Bilsen, “Our system is designed to accept everyone and we’re compensated by the equalization system.” But in return, people have to be transparent with their healthcare provider and be forthcoming with who’s responsible for their healthcare expenses — especially the sick who are incurring huge costs.

It’s a give-and-take system that helps insurers collect accurate information to compare with big data. Bilsen further explains, “We’d like to know how healthcare costs are developing as a whole and then how they’re developing in several products or in several groups. We also have to keep an eye on healthcare suppliers, if they’re actually delivering quality.”

Shorter Turnover Time

Menzis Financial Risk Officer Johan Halverhout’s is frustrated with healthcare’s long turnover period. He says, “We have a special situation with the healthcare business in which a claims year isn’t equals to the calendar year.”

A well-meaning insurer like Menzis always aims to cover healthcare costs and make them as affordable as possible, but the current turnover period of two to three years isn’t making it easy for guys like Halverhout.

With regular businesses, like in the groceries sector, the year is done after the profit and loss declaration, which is usually at the end of the year. Not so in healthcare, as for a claims year to be finalized, insurers have to wait for two to three years to be done, “We’re now in 2016, but we still have to finish the 2011 claims year. ”

If it were up to him, the claims year and calendar years will be one and data will be collected real-time to get instant impressions of healthcare cost development.

The interviews were conducted at the IndustryForum Banking and Insurance, The Netherlands, on the 4th of November 2015. For more on our upcoming events, visit the Event Calendar»

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