Change is the biggest challenge

by Sujata C    Nov 13, 2013


Cloud based technology solutions in the health insurance sector is just emerging and Virginia based hCentive has been providing cloud based products to health insurers and state health agencies in the US. The six-year old company was the first to build a health insurance exchange from scratch and plans to tap the healthcare sector created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with new solutions to meet the evolving consumer needs. hCentive is supported with an R&D center in India. In an exclusive interaction, Sanjay Singh, CEO, hCentive and an IIT Kharagpur graduate, discusses the challenges faced by the company and the roadmap for growth in India.

Can you give a brief overview of the company’s business in India and abroad?

We are headquartered in the U.S., outside of Washington, D.C. Our products are tailored specifically to the North American market and focused on the exchange technology for the health insurance market.

While we do not sell our products in India, our research and development center is located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. We chose this approach because of the superior IT technologists that reside within India. In addition, we have the significant advantage of being able to develop around the clock – allowing us the benefit of speed. We also have several support personnel located here, giving us the ability to offer 24/7 coverage to our clients.

What challenges did the company face, considering the field of technology solutions in healthcare is relatively niche?

The biggest challenge we face is change. CMS, the government authority responsible for healthcare reform implementation in U.S, continues to “tweak” the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, also known as FFM, and we have to adapt to those changes. As the whole system launched on October 1, there are quite a few adjustments that need to be made. Our exchange connectivity product, WebInsure Exchange Manager, is connecting our clients to all 51 exchanges and while the FFM is the bulk of those states, we also have to contend with the changes that the State-based exchanges are making as well. Eventually this will settle down but we are prepared for a busy fourth quarter and first quarter of 2014.

What are the company’s most popular products/solutions?

Currently, our most popular products are WebInsure Exchange Manager, an exchange connectivity product that connects health plans, dental plans, etc. to the FFM, State-based exchanges and private exchanges; and WebInsure Private Exchange, our private exchange technology that allows health plans, dental plans, third party administrators and more to offer consumers decision assistance, intuitive shopping experience, consumer education, self-service support and more. In addition, they can offer health, wellness, financial and other in demand services.

What is the road map for investments in India?

We plan on investing Rs 500 Crore over the next five years toward talent acquisition and infrastructure development. In the near future, we are looking to hire approximately 150 employees over the next six months.

Can you share details of some of your partnerships and customer wins?

While we aren’t allowed to list all of clients due to contractual clauses, we have three of the top five health plans in the U.S. In addition, three states went live with hCentive’s WebInsure State on October 1 and are being singled out as success stories.

Are you planning to tap the Indian market?

We currently have no plans to enter the India market. Our products are specifically developed to meet the needs of the U.S. healthcare market.

Will there be growth in the workforce in the coming months?

 Yes, our plans are to add another 150 employees to the Noida office over the next six months.