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Reforming Your People Strategy

Five priorities to consider adding to your health reform agenda


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its companion, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA) of 2010, referred to collectively as “health reform” or “reform,” became law in March 2010 and set off a period of great change for health plans. Almost two years later, it is clear that this period of change is here to stay. While health plans hurry to comply with reform's numerous rules and regulations, they concurrently seek answers to major strategic questions regarding their products, operating models, and fundamental abilities to demonstrate value to the market. For example, medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements, combined with premium reviews and industry scrutiny, have created a mandate for leaner operations. Having the applicable team in place  - from leadership down to the trenches  - is critical to effectively navigate this unprecedented period of industry change.

A health plan's approach to health reform is incomplete without a focused people strategy that is responsive to current talent needs and anticipates future needs. This strategy should address how to recruit, motivate, train, measure, reward, and prepare talent to drive the health plan's post-reform business strategy. And, no talent strategy can be effective without ultimately serving to make the health plan more operationally efficient, consumer-focused, and nimble. Health plans should have leaders that are ready for the challenge of proactively navigating through health reform and are committed and prepared to lead the organization through the associated changes.

Health plan leaders should recognize that the required talent composition for their future organization may look very different from the talent profile that made the organization effective in the past. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to talent, health plan leaders should consider  five priorities in developing a post-reform people strategy.

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