Market Overview

SAS® Health Analytics Helps Insurers Personalize Member Experience to Improve Health, Decrease Costs


SAS® analytics will help health plans adapt to the changing health care landscape by providing insights to create programs, products and services better matched to consumers' specific insurance needs. SAS® Membership Portfolio Optimization, from the leader in health analytics, enables plans to provide a more personalized health insurance experience and better service while managing health care costs for consumers.

“One of the effects of health care reform is that consumers are ‘shopping' for health care in a retail environment and are expecting health plans and providers to better understand their individual health needs,” said Graham Hughes, MD, Chief Medical Officer for SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights (CHAI). “SAS provides plans with predictive model capabilities similar to those used in other consumer industries, like retail and banking. By better understanding customers, health plans can design products and engage members to provide top-notch programs, customer service and support, allowing the health system to deliver consumer-focused patient care, ultimately producing better health outcomes.”

The SAS Membership Portfolio Optimization solution is part of the collaboration between CHAI and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) to apply proven customer intelligence to traditional health plan business models. By doing so, BCBSNC is working to have a powerful, centralized customer-analytics platform that will improve its ability to understand new and existing customers. This will provide the potential to build and target insurance products that engage members while managing expenses associated with providing care.

”While the Affordable Care Act may have added some urgency to this work, we knew that we needed to pursue this level of sophistication regardless,” said Michael Parkerson, Vice President of Marketing at BCBSNC. “When health insurance exchanges open, approximately 30 million consumers will enter the health insurance market, bringing with them varying backgrounds, needs and expectations. We're working to be ahead of the curve by ensuring we are listening and are able to respond to the actionable insights we gain from the solution with SAS. By listening in new ways and maximizing the insights we gain, we will be at the forefront of delivering on customers' expectations.”

Arjun Aggarwal, Managing Director for Healthscape Advisors, a management consulting firm supporting SAS to implement this solution at BCBSNC noted, “This SAS solution is very different from anything else in the marketplace, enabling a plan to develop individual member profiles and offer customized communications and interventions to improve health and well-being. By anticipating consumer behavior and identifying where a member may be responsive to health coaching, we can get in front of potential problems to help keep people healthy.”

Member Portfolio Optimization Webcast – Nov. 8

On Thursday, Nov. 8 at 2:00 p.m. ET, SAS is hosting a publicly available educational webcast, “A Health Plan's Perspective: Using Advanced Analytics to Balance Consumer and Financial Expectations.” Executives from BCBSNC and SAS CHAI will discuss the implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for health insurers and how BCBSNC is addressing the new health care paradigm.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at

About the SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights

The SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights (CHAI) is a strategy, research and incubation organization focused on identifying novel ways of applying advanced analytics to the challenges facing the health and life sciences industries. Through multidisciplinary collaborations and the world's most powerful analytics software, CHAI helps organizations develop deeper patient insights, better medical outcomes, lower costs and improved organizational performance.

SAS is the industry leader in health analytics software and services, delivering best-in-class solutions for improving medical care, strengthening financial performance, deepening customer relationships and pursuing medical innovations. AstraZeneca, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Healthways and McKesson are among the leading health care companies that use SAS. Visit SAS for Health Insurance for more information.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 60,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®. SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2012 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.

Cary Conway, 972-731-9242

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