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Where Are They Now? 2011's Elite 8 Continue To Hone Digital Capabilities

As mobile and digital technologies continue to reshape the insurance industry, Insurance & Technology caught up with some of the 2011 Elite 8 to see how the changing expectations of consumers, employees and partners are transforming their focus.
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Riding Health Reform's Wave

Joseph S. Smith, SVP, CIO, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Since receiving Elite 8 honors in 2011, Joseph Smith, CIO and SVP of private programs at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has had to deal with some new challenges. "Complexities have risen significantly with the entire healthcare industry transformation to new business models under the Accountable Care Act [ACA]," Smith points out. "New competitive players, new business structures, new sales channels require new integration to [IRS, SSA, DHS and U.S. Treasury systems]."

In fact, Smith says, "Staying ahead of the plethora of federal regulations drowning the entire healthcare industry" has been his team's major area of focus in 2012. And that focus has paid off. To date, Smith says, the team is still way ahead of many of the regulatory requirements and on target for meeting others.

The ACA is driving a business model transformation, Smith adds, and this will remain one of his top priorities for 2013. Other top priorities, he reveals, will include business diversification to unregulated markets and segments, as well as developing alliances in traditional markets and new related markets, to enable risk sharing and shared capital investment directed at delivering innovative new capabilities for the healthcare and insurance industries.

[CIO Joseph Smith Provides Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield with IT Blueprint]

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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Innovation? Check. Core modernization? Check. Security? Check. Today's insurance IT challenges don't stump this year's Elite 8.