Chapel Hill-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC; $3.4 billion in total 2004 revenue) is expanding the rollout of eInfoNOW, a real-time, Web-based tool that helps self-insured employer groups choose the right health insurance plans for their businesses. According to John Friesen, VP and chief actuary, actuarial and underwriting services, for the health insurer, employers using BCBSNC were having difficulty choosing between existing plans and requested a tool for ad hoc analysis. "We knew we wanted to develop a point-and-click, online tool that was easy to use," he says.
In 2004, BCBSNC tapped Health Data Management Solutions (Cleveland) to develop the application, which is written in Java 4.2 and runs on an HP (Palo Alto, Calif.) Integrity rx4640 server. EInfoNOW analyzes claims payments and trends, and translates the data into charts and reports to help employers invest in the benefits packages that most closely meet the needs of their employees.
The data collected by the program also provides BCBSNC with insight on the specific needs of the employer groups. The carrier used this data in underwriting to develop products to fit employers' needs. "It's a win-win situation," says Friesen. "We saw a rise in sales because the group benefits packages meet the employers' needs." --M.W.