Trends We’re Watching in 2024

Jan. 25, 2024

The past few years have brought many changes in the health insurance industry. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s leadership stays on top of these developments to ensure our groups and customers get the best health care.  

We asked our leadership to share few key developments our team will be focusing on this year. 

Changing trends with Mike Harris, Vice President of Major Group Sales and Marketing  

As we move into 2024 and prepare for 2025, consultants are evaluating plans for ways to reduce cost and limit shifting liability to members and employers. This is nothing new. But can it be done? Yes, but in segments or with longer term planning to engage with buy-in from all parties. It will require members to be accountable for their actions when seeking medical services. In order to move the needle, employers will have to make sure their members use the various programs and tools provided by their insurance carriers that will help guide them to the most cost-efficient course of treatment. Similarly, administrators need to provide cost-efficient shopping and selection tools to members to assist with scheduling care and simply to answer questions they may have. Refocusing ways to engage members will be key in 2024 to drive results in future years.

Innovative treatments with Dr. Shawn Stinson, Senior Vice President of Healthcare Innovation and Improvement

The recent approval for sickle cell gene therapies should be near the top of the list of priorities in 2024. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of two milestone treatments* to treat sickle cell disease could have a significant financial impact. The clinical impact is even more significant. These are the first FDA-approved treatments to use novel genome editing technology for sickle cell disease. These are major innovations in the field of gene therapy.

Telehealth growth with Kelly Wage, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience 

The pandemic changed the way many sought care. Telehealth isn’t going anywhere. Growth in virtual-first health plans will continue to expand, providing new channels for accessing care. Telehealth is expanding to include virtual primary care often within standard benefit plans. Stand-alone virtual health plans are on the rise.   

Drug shortages with Dr. Jay Patel, Chief Pharmacy Officer  

The drug supply chain has become more complex and fragmented in the recent years, leading to the most unresolved drug shortages seen in the last five to 10 years. The drug shortages we are facing today are impacting lifesaving, critical medications such as chemotherapy agents used to treat various types of cancer. The impact of drug shortages can affect the care we provide to our members by having access to the appropriate medication they need to remain stable in their given condition. This does not only affect members but also further contributes to the rising cost of prescription drugs overall. Our team monitors these drug shortages daily to ensure we implement risk mitigation plans to stretch current supplies to those in need and prevent any barriers to care. We are looking at all the options to ensure there are treatments available at the lowest net cost for our members while providing optimal quality care.

*This links to a third-party website. The FDA is solely responsible for the contents and privacy policy on its site. 

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