Experts predict top 10 payer trends for 2010

Industry experts predict that the number one trend for healthcare payers in 2010 will be the renewal of information management business models.

In a new 17-page report, titled "U.S. Healthcare Payer 2010 Top 10 Predictions," IDC Health Insights researchers also list among their top 10 payer predictions:

  • Business intelligence technology will be the number one investment category.
  • Actionable advice initiatives will lead healthcare payer business intelligence priorities and investment.
  • Legislative and regulatory compliance initiatives will be among the top 3 technology investment categories in 2010.
  • Healthcare payers will seek and prioritize strategic technology partnerships-following the hype will be over- return on investment and value lead selection criteria priorities
  • Segmentation will become the new strategic asset.
  • Reform and the value-based health plan model will drive sales and customer acquisition automation ("quote to card") solutions.
  • Payment reform will drive new investment in provider network, contract, payment, and analytic solutions.
  • Communications and document management technology investment will appear among the top 10 technology investment growth categories.
  • Medical home best practices will emerge.

Along with the top 10 predictions, the report names the healthcare reform bill and the ICD-10 mandate as the top two issues expected to affect the payer market in 2010.

Healthcare payers should also expect looming competitive and funding changes and regulatory compliance to be challenges in 2010, according to the IDC Health Insights report. IDC Health Insights experts Janice Young, program manager of payer research and Lynne Dunbrack, program director for provider/health payer research, authored the report.

"This is the year of analytics and outcomes for the industry," Young and Dunbrack said. "Cost containment, a changing competitive market, business efficiency, outcomes improvement,  transparency, and partnership efforts among ecosystem participants are the prevailing background themes."

According to Young, payers who want to position themselves favorably in 2010 should choose technology solutions that improve the costs of technology acquisition and management.

Healthcare payers should also choose IT solutions that reduce corporate and program costs and position the healthcare payer to retrieve, use and disseminate information to produce changes in behavior at the point of interaction, Young said.