[Interview Filter]: What do I need to know going in?
March 4, 2010 7:44 AM   Subscribe

[Interview Filter]: I have a job interview scheduled with a health insurance company for an Analyst position. What should I learn about the industry to be successful in this interview?

My skill set matches what they are looking for (data analysis) and I am confident that I will have no problems there. But I have never worked in or with the health care industry and I don't feel like I know enough about it to be very confident in the interview. There are two positions to be filled. One is a Market Intelligence Analyst and the other is a Product Analyst. What industry specific things should I know about going in to this interview?
posted by lrkuperman to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am a data analyst for a healthcare provider. While I have worked with payors before, mostly in the context of getting data from them and for P4P (pay for performance) contracting, I have never worked FOR a payor. I am absolutely kicking myself, because I used to have either a pdf or a link to a pdf that was basically a 40+ page glossery of healthcare words! I found it useful when I started this job, having no healthcare background. Not the same one, but maybe puruse these.



From my provider- and quality-biased point of view, if I were you, I would briefly read about Medicare and Medicaid, P4P, Managed Care v. Fee for Service, and HEDIS. If you are talking about Massachusetts, I might look up MHQP. Explicitly say that you know very little about healthcare and you are eager to learn. You'll miss some things: it took me a year here before I learned that this ubiquitous "DM" was actually diabetes (diabetes mellitus), and not "disease management" or some such.

Feel free to mail me. Not sure if I can help further but am happy to do so if I can. Good luck!
posted by teragram at 9:05 AM on March 4, 2010

Actually, your skill set might just be strong enough. Working in healthcare as an analytist doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have healthcare experience. They are looking for your functional expertise, deadline, proactiveness, dealing with challenges, etc. The subject of healthcare doesn't really matter. Working in the industry a lot of our analysts never had a scratch of healthcare under their belt. You learn as you go.
posted by stormpooper at 10:28 AM on March 4, 2010

Find out about the company, too. The best way is to do a Google search, click on "Show options" and choose "most recent year." This will filter out obsolete material and give you nuggets of information about their current operations, which you can use to impress the interviewer.
posted by KRS at 1:35 PM on March 4, 2010

On the micro:

Risk vs Reward, Deductibles, Coinsurance, Out Of Pocket Expenses, Claims experience. 90% of the American public can't explain their own health insurance plan. I'd say you'd be a cut above the rest if you could muster this much. If you can't explain why low deductible plans have higher claims utilization than a $5,000 health savings account, I would not hire you. Understand what consumer driven health care is, and why wall street health care analysts think CDHC is going to be popular this year (HRA, HSA, FSA setups).

On the macro:
I would research what is moral hazard, 3rd party payer systems and their effect on the consumption of medical services and make sure you understand how the balance sheets of major pharma and healthcare companies operate. Understand what asset duration is and how this impacts how many liabilities a company should be able to financially sustain.

Certainly, know what is going on on capitol hill, and have an opinion that matches that of your interviewer.
posted by yoyoceramic at 9:08 PM on March 4, 2010

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