By Carolyn McAvinn, FLMI, AALU, PMC-IVNovember 10, 2023
When we make a purchase in our personal lives, we often need help knowing what questions to ask. We may ask family, friends, or neighbors for leads and advice - especially if we know someone who has expertise in a specific field. Making a decision about a partner for digital medical data is not all that dissimilar. Digital medical data is a fairly new frontier and many of our members are still evolving their methods for assessing partners. When designing questions for an RFP or RFI (request for proposal or information) or simply interacting with the data partners you are considering, the verbiage we use may yield varied responses. As such, while there are no rules or right approaches per se, with big purchases such as this, the questions you ask and the way you word them matters.
With advice from someone who knows the space and a few guardrails, you can ensure that the questions you are asking glean meaningful insights. Here are some tips for how to formulate value-based questions in these situations to ensure you get answers that are the most useful in your assessment process.
When asking about HIT rates & RELEASE rates. It is critical to consider the following:
When asking about USABILITY, which is a broad term with multiple potential meanings, consider how your company defines it. Possibilities include:
In addition to the above, I propose you consider assessing the commitment of your potential new data providers to the life insurance industry:
Obtaining meaningful information to assess the value of a potential data partner is critically important. However, answers to RFP(s) and RFI(s) are not always clear and may be misleading. By carefully considering how your organization defines certain terms, being clear on these definitions in your RFP/RFI and asking careful follow up questions to ensure you level the playing field, you will get answers that are the most useful to your assessment process.
The use of electronic data is nuanced and requires a deep understanding of workflows and industry opportunities, as well as challenges. MIB’s Medical Data Solutions team is 100% dedicated to data access and is focused on building a sustainable future to support advances in usability. We welcome questions and a conversation about how to construct questions to glean valuable answers. Let us help you with this task.
Carolyn McAvinn is the Director of Underwriting Innovations for MIB. Prior to joining MIB in late 2018, she held various underwriting roles supporting multiple companies, product lines and distribution platforms. These included underwriting management, direct line production underwriting in the life, disability and long-term care markets and assisting with the development of underwriting engine automation and accelerated underwriting programs. Carolyn is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and currently serves as a board member of the MUD (Metropolitan Underwriting Discussion) Group in NYC.