One of the biggest insurers in the US had the foresight to disrupt its own business model before the politicians did it for them. Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield had been a business-to-business company for a century. Now it needed to understand its consumers if it wanted to remain relevant.
Contextual research backed up the findings in our interviews with members of The Sense Network. Americans have one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world, but a lower quality of life. And they’re increasingly angry about it. There was a space for a company to address that issue. What did the proposition need to look like? We embarked on an emotional journey to put a face to the problem the US healthcare system.
We worked closely with a ‘health tourist’ who’d flown to Singapore for an operation. We spoke to somebody who was getting informal diagnoses from a moonlighting health professional and was then ordering prescription meds from Mexico. We hung out with a Hells Angel with multiple incurable conditions who would ride his Harley through the Utah desert as a form of pain relief. It was a humbling, emotional journey, and it brought the Regence executives to some powerful epiphanies about their careers.
Regence executives had hypothesized that their company could expand into financial ‘life services’ like retirement plans and mortgages. But consumers strongly rejected these kinds of extensions. When we talked to Americans about health, the conversation almost always turned into a broader discussion about the quality of their lives. This is where Sense Worldwide consultants abandoned the pre-planned lines of inquiry and picked up on the kind of big, latent need that changes a whole industry.
Regence has renamed itself Cambia Health Solutions and is offering ‘quality of life services’, including an award-winning wellness app and a chain of gyms. While many healthcare companies are quailing before the proposed healthcare reforms, Cambia is already living in the future, offering a better quality of life to its growing customer base. A new corporate structure that has enabled Cambria to rise above the dysfunction of the US health system and emerge as a champion of America’s Quality of LIfe.
Cambia Health Solutions is now made up of 20+ companies and boasts an annual gross revenue of $9.5 billion. On top of healthy growth the company has won countless accolades for its positive approach to business; being named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere, a Best Employers For Women, and Most Admired Companies in Health Care. This is a testament to the senior executives’s commitment to shifting the business.
This is genius!
Chief Marketing Officer, Cambia
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