Title: Are public and private health insurance companies going Web 2.0? A complete inventory count in Germany

Authors: Nadine Blinn, Mirko Kuhne, Markus Nuttgens

Addresses: School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Hamburg University, Max-Brauer-Allee 60, 22765 Hamburg, Germany. ' HanseMerkur Versicherungsgruppe, Siegfried-Wedells-Platz 1, 20354 Hamburg, Germany. ' School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, Hamburg University, Max-Brauer-Allee 60, 22765 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: The internet is increasingly used as a source for information and knowledge. Even in the field of healthcare, information is widely available in the internet. In the context of healthcare management, two general questions are of interest: (a) which information or content is provided? and (b) how is it provided and by whom? As sickness funds play a highly relevant role in the German healthcare system, we conduct an exploratory survey to provide first answers to these questions. We perform a third party web assessment by doing a complete inventory count of the German sickness funds landscape. Hence, all 238 private and public health insurances were analysed according to their websites. Our descriptive results address researchers as well as practitioners. Moreover, our study provides a foundation for further research by raising first categories that can be used for a theoretical explanatory model.

Keywords: healthcare information; Web 2.0; healthcare management; e-health; Health 2.0; public health insurance; private health insurance; sickness funds; healthcare bulb; content; healthcare technology; e-healthcare; electronic healthcare; Germany.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2011.037218

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2011 Vol.12 No.1, pp.3 - 22

Published online: 30 Nov 2010 *

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