Podcast: Comcast NBCUniversal and Independence Blue Cross Discuss Partnership

June 2018


IN APRIL 2018, Independence Health Group and Comcast announced a unique partnership to create an innovative patient-centered technology and communications platform.

In this episode of the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast, Helen Leis, Partner in the Health & Life Sciences division at Oliver Wyman, sits down with Brian Lobley, President of Commercial and Consumer Markets at Independence Blue Cross, and Don Mathis, General Manager of Growth at Comcast NBCUniversal, to learn more about how this partnership may change the healthcare consumer landscape.

Together, Brian and Don explore the genesis of this deal to unite a renowned global media and technology company with a leading health insurance company. They also explain their joint goals to leverage data and create an appropriate bespoke experience for consumers. And, they discuss the challenges and opportunities that stem from bringing a healthcare insider and a healthcare outsider together as one.

Says Don, “At Comcast NBCUniversal, we believe we can offer the approximately 75 million people across 23 million households that we serve directly, and by the virtue of this partnership well beyond that number, an opportunity to take control of their healthcare journeys and to change the outcome in a process that has a lot of friction, discomfort, ambiguity, and not very much information. And we can impact that.”

Says Brian, “Healthcare is rapidly changing for consumers. We are focused on building and collaborating on solutions that help answer the most prevailing question in a healthcare journey: What should I do next?”

Hear this episode now on iTunes and SoundCloud.



If you told Frank Cary – CEO of IBM in 1980 – that eventually his $26.2 billion revenue company with 341,000 employees would be overtaken by a 40-person upstart with less than $8 million in revenue, he’d have likely considered the notion ludicrous in the extreme. IBM’s decades-long technological dominance seemed unassailable. Yet by late 2014, Microsoft had eclipsed IBM’s revenues. Agile, innovative and more in tune with a rapidly changing environment, the once-tiny start-up surpassed the incumbent.

The IBM/Microsoft story is a parable of corporate hubris, and the story of an organization with a hide-bound structure designed to compete in an earlier era versus the forces of disruptive innovation. Its lessons can be applied in many circumstances – indeed, to Microsoft itself vis-à-vis competitors such as Google. But it also can serve as a powerful cautionary tale in defense acquisition policy: In the Department of Defense (DoD), technological dominance is often taken for granted despite the high-profile roll-out of a “third offset strategy.” Indeed, the argument of the day is over whether many of the organizational structures designed for a different age have outlived their usefulness. The IBM/Microsoft analogy works pretty well, except for an important distinction: The stakes are radically higher in defense acquisition reform. Read more….