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Society of Insurance Research and Fletcher/CSI Create First Forum for Research Professionals in the Health Insurance Industry
Date:11/23/2008

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Research professionals from the health insurance industry now have a dedicated community of practice in which to network, participate in continuing education coursework, and ensure best practice application of research initiatives within their organizations.

"We were looking for an association with which to partner when it became apparent there was no dedicated group for the health insurance research practitioner," said Lisa Hicks, Vice President, Fletcher/CSI, a global provider of competitive intelligence research and consulting services. "We asked several of our health insurance clients and reached out to others from the industry to understand their thoughts on the formation of such a community of practice."

"It was exciting to discover such enthusiasm towards the idea," she said. "We immediately began to look for a partner with which we could work to develop a global organization focused purely on the needs of the health insurance research professional. The Society of Insurance Research was our first choice. They have an excellent reputation and 38 years of tenure within the insurance industry that has attracted virtually every major property and casualty insurer to their membership."

"Timing is everything, I thought, when Lisa called us," said Ed Budd, Executive Director of The Society of Insurance Research. "Our board had recently discussed ways to enhance the Society's offering for our current and prospective members in lines other than P&C, and it was apparent that to give the program momentum we needed an industry partner who knew the business and was motivated to help us make it highly successful."

"We are able to bring our many years of experience in association and conference management to the team and a brand that is well established and respected in the industry," said Budd. "Lisa and the Fletcher/CSI organization bring a wealth of competitive intelligence and health insurance experience, which is critical to the success of this endeavor. A wonderful plus has been Lisa's experience from her prior life in the insurance industry where she has held senior executive positions in strategic marketing, corporate communications, and conference management," he said.

"Lisa and I worked to develop an Executive Advisory Committee that presently consists of Martha Gleason, Director in charge of Market Intelligence at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and the incoming president of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals; Tara Bazelmans, Director of Marketing & Sales Analysis, Emblem Insurance Plan of New York; Avery Wilson, Senior Market and Product Strategy Consultant with Kaiser Permanente Colorado; Marcy Updike, second Vice President -- market research at JHA, Inc.; and Debbi Gentry, Competitive Intelligence Specialist at Allstate Workplace Division. Each member of this committee has been instrumental in guiding us to ensure we address the most relevant and immediately actionable topics for the group."

"Our first formal event will be held in Las Vegas, March 29 - April 1, 2009. Those interested in learning more can access our web site at www.sirnet.org," said Ed Budd.

ABOUT THE SOCIETY OF INSURANCE RESEARCH

The Society of Insurance Research was founded in 1970 to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas in all areas of insurance research. The Society's membership includes representation from insurance companies and their suppliers, government agencies, institutions of higher education, and trade associations. Members come from a wide variety of disciplines including product development, marketing & market research, actuarial, claims, planning, corporate or government relations, consulting, information services, modeling, reinsurance, and risk management. Deliverables include two national meetings each year, on-line services including a members-only personalized research portal, and local or regional meetings. Meeting sites are located throughout the United States.

ABOUT FLETCHER/CSI

Fletcher/CSI is a global provider of competitive sales intelligence for all levels of competitive strategy development. With an extensive record of excellence in business intelligence going back to 1988, the company is known for its unique ability to conduct highly skilled research and analysis services, and to also provide valuable strategic support through the recommendations for improved performance it provides.

The company's insurance practice provides first party, primary, qualitative research services focused exclusively on the needs of the health insurance industry. Examples of study topics include: Wellness Incentive Programs; Consumer Driven Health Products; Advancements in Information Technology; Evolving Program Structures; Specialty Pharmacy Initiatives; Best Practices in Relationship Management; Competitor Profiles; FOIA Bid Comparisons; Win/Loss Analysis; Agent/Broker and Customer Perspectives; Coverage Terms/Conditions; and Policies/Procedures. More information about Fletcher/CSI can be found at www.fletchercsi.com/insurance_strategies.


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SOURCE The Society of Insurance Research
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