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May 6, 2019
Every member touchpoint offers an opportunity for healthcare organizations to connect, engage and make members feel valued, driving health outcomes and retention. With consumers expecting more from their plans than ever before, and with new technologies paving the way, now is the time for payers to shift to next-generation member engagement.
What is next-generation member engagement? It’s a new level of connection that leverages data and technology and has the potential to improve outcomes by capturing consumers’ attention when they are most likely to be listening.
Member engagement needs to evolve to address consumer expectations. When healthcare consumers were asked what traits they value in companies, more than half of respondents said they valued great customer service, exceeding the number who chose “delivering on expectations,” “making life easier” or “offering great value.”
Data also shows patients want more help and guidance before they begin treatment for a disease, with their greatest frustration being lack of notification that they are at risk for a given condition. Better engagement can help payers meet these expectations while improving retention, strengthening their brand, lowering costs and improving health outcomes.
For Medicare Advantage plans in particular, better engagement and loyalty bring a powerful opportunity to help maintain or improve Star Ratings. All member communications, collectively, define the member’s experience and their likelihood to re-enroll and recommend the plan to others. As a result, educational programs and proactive outreach are game changers for MA plans.
Fortunately, these interactions are all transactional touchpoints that already see high engagement from members and are well within a payer’s control.
The ultimate vision for healthcare engagement has been described as “realizing results by delivering the right information, at the right time, in the right way.” Although plans can point to progress over the past few years, they have much further to go to achieve this goal.
Recent advancements in technologies have started to close some of the gaps in member engagement and allow plans to deliver more coordinated communication. For example, technology platforms can leverage data from a variety of sources and index the data in a meaningful way to create a single communication. The platform then allows a singular view into all the different communications that a member receives from a plan over time.
Plans are also gaining the ability to collect and understand members’ preferences. This allows payers to deliver
communications in the way each member wants to receive them, such as in a preferred language or by text message rather than on paper. Automating the customization of communications for each member can save significant time and
Technology partners like Clarity Software Solutions can help healthcare organizations with these efforts by accepting data in whatever form the plan provides it, and then warehousing, indexing and normalizing it. This gives the plan flexibility to make content changes and additions on the fly when a member has an event that triggers a transactional communication. With these new abilities, plans can better leverage these touchpoints and realize their potential to bring information to members when they are already paying attention.