Business challenge

HMHS aims to help the members of its health plan partners to make well-informed healthcare decisions. How can partners such as Highmark connect each member with personalized advice and online tools?


HMHS offers an integrated, analytics-driven approach to member communication—helping its health plan partners to identify individual member preferences and offer a more personalized service.



member segments enable more precise campaign targeting


year-on-year increase in number of health campaigns for one partner


members to make better-informed healthcare and lifestyle decisions

Business challenge story

Empowered members, informed decisions

As part of its vision to improve the total care experience, Highmark, a health plan partner of HMHS, strives to offer every member the information they need to make well-informed decisions about their healthcare and lifestyle. All care requirements are unique, and it is essential to provide the right information to the right member in a timely manner.

To help partners such as Highmark to achieve this goal, HMHS offers them a member portal with online tools to help members better manage their care, built on the enterprise-class IBM® WebSphere® Commerce platform. From a single, personalized dashboard, every member can use search tools to find nearby doctors, providers and specialists, compare the fees for medical procedures, and explore new insurance and healthcare products.

Highmark aims to encourage as many members as possible to use the resources on the portal to improve their health. Because members are more likely to react positively to relevant, personalized messages, Highmark harnesses its member data to create targeted wellness campaigns to lead members to engage with the portal and explore the company’s latest products and services.

Thanks to IBM, we can offer every member the information they need to take charge of their health.

Elizabeth Bivens, Senior Product Consultant, HMHS Commercial Markets

Transformation story

Building personalized campaigns

Highmark relies on integrated, analytics-driven marketing processes—provided by HMHS—to deliver personalized campaigns at speed and scale. Using IBM Campaign, the organization analyzes numerous small pieces of member information—for example, content preferences, demographics and locations—to gain a 360-degree view of every member.

Using this insight, Highmark builds fine-grained segments, enabling it to launch targeted wellness campaigns. By reaching out with relevant messages, the organization inspires members to use the portal to access online healthcare tools, read articles or sign up for meetings with medical practitioners.

For example, when Highmark releases a new product via the member portal, it reaches out to the members most likely to benefit. These members receive an email with links to a landing page with information about a new product on the member portal. Using IBM Campaign, Highmark can determine how many people opened the email, logged into the portal and used the tool—helping it to learn valuable lessons and improve the effectiveness of future communications.

Highmark’s member data is complex, changing and ever-growing—and a single wellness campaign can involve upwards of seven people from different departments working separately on each element of the campaign. To help cut through this complexity, HMHS uses IBM Marketing Operations to enable Highmark to manage the campaign lifecycle from end to end—ensuring that each part of the marketing function has access to the information they need to work effectively.

By managing each campaign with IBM Marketing Operations, Highmark gains a complete overview of the roles, responsibilities, management approvals and timelines on each wellness campaign. As well as helping to keep campaigns on schedule, IBM Marketing Operations provides a full audit trail to satisfy the company’s regulators.

As increasing numbers of members choose to access healthcare services from their smartphones or tablets, it is more important than ever to deliver a seamless journey on every device. Using IBM Digital Analytics, HMHS helps health plan partners such as Highmark to obtain in-depth insight into the way members move across their digital sites, enabling them to identify and remove sticking points where members struggled or even left the portal.

Elizabeth Bivens, Senior Product Consultant at HMHS Commercial Markets, comments: “Because marketing processes touch multiple business areas, it can be tempting to select multiple best-of-breed solutions to address each requirement. The challenge with this approach is that integrating software from multiple different solution vendors is a complex and costly process—costs that only increase when the business requests changes further down the line. By working with a tightly integrated set of solutions from IBM, we avoid these costs and improve our ability to shape smooth, streamlined member journeys.”

Results story

Making healthier choices

HMHS continues to build on its member portal, and develop innovative, value-added services for its members. To date, the organization has a driven a 26 percent increase in the number of health and wellbeing campaigns it runs year-on-year—ensuring that more members than ever benefit from tailored advice.

Ryan Franciscus, Senior Application Developer, eBusiness Marketing at HM Health Solutions Inc., says: “We see our portal as a valuable way to help our members get the most out of our services, products and providers, and our IBM solutions have been instrumental in encouraging our members to sign up for the service. By identifying sticking points along the member journey, we have shaped a compelling marketing process for the healthcare portal—for example, incentivizing members by providing them with gift cards to encourage uptake, and implementing single-sign on to reduce the manual effort required to access the portal.”

Based on years of success with its IBM solutions, HMHS is still planning ways to augment the business value of integrated marketing processes. One of its latest projects is to open up its campaign analytics to a wider audience in the business. By presenting all of the metrics around each campaign in a single, easily accessible tool, the organization aims to make it easier for its leaders to understand the cost, effectiveness and return of each campaign, and facilitate more accurate long-term planning and budgeting.

Elizabeth Bivens concludes: “Successful marketing means reaching the right person with a relevant, timely message, and our IBM solutions enable us to do just that. Thanks to IBM, we can offer every member the information they need to take charge of their health.”

The words "HM Health solutions" are written in blue font next to a cuboid made of blue lines.

HM Health Solutions, Inc. (HMHS)

HM Health Solutions was launched in 2014 by its parent company Highmark Health as a solutions-focused affiliate, using knowledge developed over 75 years at health plan affiliate Highmark Inc. Employing 3,000 people, HMHS provides expertise to Highmark Inc. and a growing number of other health plans.

Solution components

  • FSS: Insurance - Front Office - Data & Analytics
  • IBM Digital Analytics
  • IBM Watson Customer Experience Analytics
  • Marketing Platforms: Campaign Management
  • Marketing Platforms: Marketing Operations.
  • Websphere Commerce Managed Hosted Legacy

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