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During Karen Ignagni’s tenure as CEO of the EmblemHealth family of companies, she has led an unprecedented modernization effort with a relentless focus on the customer experience. We are thrilled that she will be joining us on the main stage at the 2023 Summit, being held April 19-21 at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort. We interviewed Ignagni about the issues that are top of mind for her and the path forward for the health care community.

Which issues are your greatest priorities in the next 3 – 5 years?

Engagement. Creating consumer experiences that engage people in getting and staying healthy that are similar to what is expected from other sectors. We’re meeting people where they are by providing personalized interactions in the language and medium (text, email, etc.) preferred. Removing
administrative hurdles that present barriers, and supporting interactions that are in real time. This requires an innovative team utilizing a high functioning data lake, end-to-end linkages across all service departments, and secure and agile technology.

Deepening Provider Partnerships. Focusing on process simplification, mutually aligned value-based payment structures, and working together to address health care disparities. We are reducing prior authorizations that are not necessary, creating digital support that reduces the administrative burden on provider office staff, and working with hospitals and physician groups to simplify EMR linkage. We will continue to develop innovative payment arrangements, focusing on three goals: best practices, effectiveness, and creating health equity while reducing disparities in health care.

Health Equity. This challenge has been well understood as a crucial priority for public program beneficiaries. At the same time, post COVID, we are finding equity issues in our commercial population. As a result, we are broadening our focus to whole person health accounting for health disparities and social determinants of health including isolation, depression, and the stability of living situations across all of the populations we serve.

For CEOs looking into the future, what should they be thinking about now to drive impactful change?

Leaders need to focus moving from a system of sick care to a system of health care. Getting and keeping people healthy is key to controlling escalating health care costs in our country. We must contain costs to ensure that purchasing coverage is sustainable for employers, government, and individuals. While that’s straightforward to frame, one sector’s cost containment is another’s revenue reduction. As a health care community, we’ve yet to agree on a path forward. Absent industry leadership, the government will face mounting pressure to step into the breech.

Leaders need to ensure that population health strategies don’t leave any members behind, especially those with special needs.

We also need to think about wellbeing in a far more robust way and be attuned to what our own employees need, ensuring inclusiveness, detecting and mitigating burnout, and providing work flexibility.

Interested in participating in the 2023 Summit to hear from leaders like Karen Ignagni? Apply to attend and join the conversation.

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