Payers

How Elevance Health is using generative AI to try to simplify healthcare

President and CEO Gail Boudreaux outlined the insurance giant’s strategy during a keynote speech at CES.
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Elevance President and CEO Gail Boudreaux. Taylor Hill/Getty Images

· 3 min read

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Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.

The phrase “generative artificial intelligence” (generative AI) is on the tip of everyone’s tongue this week in Las Vegas during the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show, which showcases the newest advancements in the world of tech.

Gail Boudreaux, president and CEO of Elevance Health, shared how the insurance giant is using generative AI to simplify and personalize the healthcare experience for consumers during a keynote speech on January 9.

“There’s a huge opportunity inside of our enterprise—and inside of the business of healthcare—to use AI and other technologies to simplify,” Boudreaux said.

Elevance uses generative AI to interpret the massive amounts of health data it receives from consumers, and then gives patients personalized care recommendations, Boudreaux said. The technology can help consumers understand how their health benefits work and connect them with the best provider to address their specific health needs.

“I look at that as a great opportunity where we’re able to be much more effective and proactive,” Boudreaux said.

Generative AI also has benefits for providers, as it can help simplify the “thousands of pages of policy documents and claims” they receive, which helps reduce their workload, Boudreaux said.

But AI is only going to develop “at the speed of trust in healthcare,” she added. Healthcare companies using the technology must gain the trust of not only their consumers but their employees as well. One way Elevance is building trust is by making sure humans are still involved in making any clinical decisions, Boudreaux said.

She also touched on the importance of interoperability when it comes to simplifying the healthcare experience for consumers. Interoperability is the ability to share patient information easily between different doctors and computer systems, simplifying processes like prior authorizations, according to Boudreaux.

Prior authorizations require a provider to receive approval from a health plan before a service is approved for payment coverage. According to the American Medical Association, prior authorizations are “costly, inefficient, and responsible for patient care delays.”

But if providers and payers were able to easily share data back and forth, that would remove a lot of the burden, Boudreaux said.

“We should be sharing data back and forth. The ability to do that across everything [in healthcare] is a big opportunity,” she said. “I think we’ve made some progress, but we still have a big opportunity to continue to do that.”

Looking to the future, Boudreaux said Elevance is focused on scaling its use of generative AI and other tech in an effort to simplify and personalize healthcare.

“We’re getting better at understanding outcomes and getting smarter with where to deploy this [technology],” she said. “It’s a really exciting time in our industry. We have to be responsible, we can’t get too excited that we move faster than the market—we have to move at the speed of trust.”

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.