Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield: Balanced Scorecard Briefing
Vision, Mission and Values
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s:
- Mission – transform healthcare environment with the solutions that company offers, including telehealth
- Vision – to be valued by patients and business partners
- Values reflect the importance of being trusted by patients and other healthcare organizations, while applying innovation.
(“Purpose, vision and values”, n.d.).
The three factors identify culture that exists within this organization. Additionally, they reflect the internal environment of the company, which is among the essential aspects of analysis as the executives will have to alter it to suit the new strategy implementation. Furthermore, the values statement displays the ethical standards that Blue Shield program adheres to in its operations. Jain (2016) states that the most critical thing for value-based health organizations providers is to focus on care as an organizational value. Through the statements of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, it becomes evident that the company cares for both its patients and its business efficiency. The innovation is especially crucial for telehealth as it defines the approach an organization can take towards delivering the services.
External Environment – PEST Analysis
Table. 1 Presents an assessment of the external factors which impact the healthcare industry. The political, economic, social, and technological factors are part of the industry that Blue Shield operates in; thus they are critical. The company does not have a direct influence on these changes; therefore, it should strive to adjust its plans in order to respond to the possible challenges and threats.
The analysis was conducted with the help of TOWS Matrix and helped identify internal factors that influence Blue Shield. Table 2 displays the strengths and weaknesses that the company has.
Gap analysis helps identify the differences between the desired position of Blue Shield and the current operations. The company statements reflect a desire to expand and become a valuable partner in healthcare provision. Thus, a gap between the number of branches that operate at the moment and a possible expansion exists. In addition, Blue Shield wants to apply technology to help connect patients with doctors which can be achieved through new information technology solutions.
Recommended directional strategy
The current recommendation for Blue Shield is to utilize the external opportunities to expand the existing program to more cities in the U.S. In addition, the organization should strive to use new technology, such as smartphone applications to enhance the way in which patients can access their doctors to receive advice.
The presented plan involves many changes in how the current Blue Shield program operates. Thus a new organizational structure should be in place to ensure that all branches of telehealth across the U.S. participate in the implementation and develop accordingly. According to O’Donovan, Kasper, and Dubbs (2018), solely developing a strategy for a company is not enough. An organization has to learn how to set goals and targets, follow through with their implementation, and make necessary changes to it. Thus, O’Donovan et al. (2018) offer an approach to adaptive strategy as a key approach to strategic planning. The authors state that changes in operations are difficult to carry out when applying old strategies. Blue Shield can benefit from the approach as it is evident that the external environment of the company is subjected to constant changes.
The operational recommendation is adjusting the current organizational structure. Blue Shield currently has a flat matrix strategic business unit (SBU) stricture. Unlike traditional models, SBU allows different branches to operate independently while being integrated into the company. A shift towards adhocracy can be beneficial for Blue Shield as this structure provides more freedom to the units. Thus, it will be easier for them to implement new strategies and offer innovational solutions.
Communicating the strategy to the personnel is crucial in order to ensure unanimous work. Marzorati and Pravettoni (2017) state that many healthcare facilities avoid this aspect, strictly adhering to budget allocation only. This results in chaotic plan implementation; thus positive outcomes cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, Blue Shield should include communication with personnel directed at explaining the importance of the chosen strategy and steps taken towards its implementation to ensure success. Additionally, cooperation is crucial for this method as different divisions should support each other in adapting to changes. Thus, a change in an organizational structure is an inevitable part of alterations that is directed at promoting the changes.
Key Goals and Objectives
Providing more value to patients can be achieved by focusing on long-term health outcomes for telemedicine patients. It is essential for any business, as Jain (2016) states that this is a representation of “clinical outcomes to the costs incurred to achieve them” (para.1). The author argues that it is crucial for organizations to focus their attention on identifying which services will benefit patients the most, as at times those can be cheaper than the typically utilized. Telehealth is the ideal example as it provides patients with an ability to consult a professional without a need to attend a hospital. Thus, a less severe intervention with the same efficiency would be less expensive for a healthcare provider. In addition, the author suggests focusing on long-term outcomes of health. The principal goals correspond to the balanced scorecard which reflects metrics, targets, and initiatives that should be applied.
Balanced Scorecard is an ideal representation of the strategic plan for the Blue Shield program as it combines actual business processes with the goals the organization wants to achieve. This scorecard represents the intention of Blue Shield to expand, apply innovation, enhance customer experience, and provide financial support to its programs. Although the economic component involves increased spending, Burton (2015) states that health care providers should focus on cost reduction. The current plan includes investing in new technology that would omit the unnecessary aspect of care provision. Thus, with as easy access to consultation, the patients will not have to wait in lines to be advised on minor health issues. This means that no additional personnel and other associated costs will be required from the company. Therefore, the financial part’s long-term goal is to reduce costs and increase profits of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. The objective of educating personnel will be beneficial for the company as it will both mitigate possible risks and enhance the quality of human recourses. This should ensure that customer experience and internal processes initiatives are carried out properly.
The Balanced Scorecard:
- Offers particular steps that help implement the strategy
- Provides datasets, benchmarks, models, and tests as control measures
- Sets specific targets for Blue Shield
- Provides initiatives that help implement the change
The three analyses that were conducted for this strategic briefing include external environment examination, internal environment research, and gap analysis. The proposed balanced scorecard offers four main objectives for the Blue Shield program in the financial, customer, business processes, and growth aspects. The overall goal is to ensure that Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield develops as a healthcare provider in different aspects of business processes.
Recommendations and Conclusions
Based on the external and internal analysis, the conclusion is that the healthcare environment that Blue Shield operates in is currently under serious changes.
The operational recommendations and strategic control mechanisms offer a change in the current structure. The application of implementation control as a strategy to track the successfulness of the program can help evaluate the outcomes of the strategy. The control mechanism will be based on monitoring the processes, comparing those to the developed strategic plan, and creating necessary changes. Ginter, Duncan, and Swayne (2013) state that the approach should be regarded as a separate process within a company. The authors state that “everyone plays a role in maintaining strategic momentum” (p. 30). Thus, the personnel should be included in both in the implementation process and in the control mechanism.
New scorecards aimed at tracking how each of the branches participates in the innovation process should be developed. The objective of the approach is to ensure that each division implements information technology education programs and encourages staff members to offer their view on technology usage within telehealth. Through this approach, the company will be able to identify new ways for telehealth program development.
Evaluating the effort of the strategy formulation one may conclude that it is accurate. The plan proposes to focus on innovation as the primary approach to future operations planning. In addition, the developed targets and measurement approaches help identify whether the strategy is being implemented successfully. Due to the fact that the objectives and benchmarks were established specifically for this strategy, they are more helpful than those that Blue Shield currently uses.
Overall, the strategic goal of the organization is to continue growing both through expansion and by applying new technology. The objectives of such actions are to respond to the environmental threats and use the opportunities. To do so, Blue Shield has to adjust its current structure and adopt adhocracy which is better for innovation management. The personnel and management will have to be educated on the new approaches and technology use. Additionally, strategic control mechanisms should be included as an essential part of the system. The executives will have to adjust their management style to communicate their plans with staff members.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. (n.d.).
Burton, D. A. (2015). 6 predictions for healthcare and population health. Web.
Ginter, P. M., Duncan, W. J., & Swayne, L. E. (2013). Strategic management of healthcare organizations (7th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Jain, S. H. (2016). 6 habits of high value health care organizations. Forbes.
Marzorati, C., & Pravettoni, G. (2017). Value as the key concept in the health care system: How it has influenced medical practice and clinical decision-making processes. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 10, 101–106. doi:10.2147/JMDH.S122383
O’Donovan, D., Kasper, G., & Dubbs, N. L. (2018). How adaptive strategy is adapting. Harvard Business Review.
Purpose, vision and values. (n.d.).