Design thinking is a strategy for solving complex issues through a focus on end-user needs to fully understand a problem and develop inclusive and practical solutions.
FREMONT, CA: The health plan of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has an extensive range of responsibilities comprising operational management, strategic planning and development, financial planning, compliance, investments, and quality improvement. Like the health insurance marketplace shifts toward integrated products and services and value-based reimbursement, the CMO is pressured to enhance performance and innovation while controlling expenses.
In light to drive efficiencies, CMOs need to offer health plans with insights into innovative problem-solving. Additionally, CMOs ought to align the health plan with a wide range of members with varied health situations and requirements.
The evolving field of design thinking is a new-fangled field in which a CMO may engage to provide quality and cost-effective focused clinical services and programs wisely. Design thinking is a strategy for solving complex issues through a focus on end-user needs to fully understand a problem and develop inclusive and practical solutions.
As design thinking strategy becomes more widespread in healthcare, CMOs must follow suit by employing it into health plan processes and care management programs. The approach identifies problems and solutions as part of the course and is particularly useful when issues have been feebly defined in the past, or the previous efforts have failed.
A few health plans have already effectively employed design thinking. In one case, a health plan struggled to control expenses. After various iterations of designing and testing new practices, the CMO and team recognized ways to decrease the costs by improving the budgeting process, enhancing service delivery, and proactively setting metrics for the administration of the expected process enhancements. The health plan provider saw 15 percent savings in organizational costs.
There are numerous scenarios where health plans have benefits from design thinking. The strategy can be an essential problem-solving tool for health plans, chiefly in areas like revenue optimization and care management.
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