Consumers expect a speedy, mobile-friendly “one-card” experience from their health and dental providers. However, health and dental plans that use legacy systems are limited in several key ways by siloed technology.
An integrated user experience on the front end depends on streamlined, interconnected technology—on a cloud-native platform—behind the scenes. The backbone of these platforms are open APIs.
What are open APIs?
Application programming interfaces, known as “APIs,” are units of software code that allow software applications, servers, platforms and devices to communicate with each other. When APIs are “open,” data in many different formats flows inside and among systems, regardless of the source information.
Modern health and dental plans are built on platforms that might use more than 10,000 APIs to push and pull data throughout the insurance ecosystem.
Open API platforms help plans reduce technical debt
In the past few decades, the healthcare and dental insurance sectors have been slow to invest in technology upgrades—especially when compared to banking, travel and retail. IT departments have often relied on quick fixes and custom coding when building interfaces or debugging software, knowing that one day they would pay the price for these short-term solutions.
That day has arrived. As health plans and dental plans converge, they face the additional technology challenges of delivering a seamless customer experience. Whether the plans remain stand-alone or offer multiple lines under one company umbrella, remaining with legacy systems will only compound their technical debt.
Open API platforms offer the flexibility these plans need to meet the demands of convergence. Just as important, open APIs are modular building blocks, which means these solutions are highly scalable. Health and dental plans on open API platforms can therefore future-proof against continuing challenges of the healthcare digital revolution.
A robust API library helps health and dental plans create better partnerships
The convergence of health and dental plans brings unprecedented opportunities for innovation in products and services. It also raises concerns about interoperability between systems and secure, reliable access to member data.
An open API framework maximizes the potential for business growth. It equips plans to design and administer any combination of health coverage—major medical, dental, accident, critical illness, vision, hearing—from a single platform. Instead of writing code, IT professionals use pre-existing modules from the API library to build or tweak insurance products, bundles or experiences.
These API modules also ensure interoperability and data flows seamlessly along all points of the customer journey workflow. From quote to claim, customers, members, physicians, customer service representatives, brokers and employers can access the information they need, on one device, through one portal—often in real time.
Open APIs equip everyone along the healthcare consumer journey to connect, communicate and provide the best possible member experience.
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