In today’s competitive healthcare marketplace, there is an enormous amount of pressure from both the federal and state levels on health plans to significantly improve the quality of their services, offer an exceptional and personal healthcare member experience and make member engagement and satisfaction their number one priority.
And since members are demanding it, it’s a key driver for health plans to grow.
More than ever before, members insist on being treated as valued clients and they require a trusted partner every step of the way throughout their health journeys.
They expect transparency, consistency, and a fast response—every single time. And when they don’t get it, they make it known.
Healthcare plans that understand the new landscape know that they must provide a relevant, high-touch and personalized member experience to see higher adoption, engagement and retention rates, reduced complaints, lowered costs and an improvement on STAR ratings and HEDIS scores.
In fact, customer experience scores that are above average can prevent members from switching health plans and save insurance companies up to $4 million dollars in revenue, a report by Forrester Research found.
Although providing a personalized experience can be a challenge, by understanding your members’ journeys and how to target and nurture them over time, it is possible.
1. Be proactive with high-touch member onboarding
Open enrollment can be such an overwhelming time for health plans, often causing a shortsighted member onboarding approach. Plus, since new health plan complaints tend to happen shortly after the initial enrollment, it’s crucial that you’re proactive in building relationships with your members from the get-go.
After enrollment packages and ID cards are sent, contact members to thank and welcome them to your plan, confirm that they received their materials and explain their plan benefits. Then explain what they can expect throughout the year and answer any questions they may have.
Remember that all members are unique with different communication preferences so the way you communicate needs to be unique too.
So don’t limit yourself to a phone call. Offer new member ID cards digitally via mobile wallet, email an interactive “What to Expect” video and even utilize two-way text communications for questions and reminders.
2. Customize content using personal health data
By combining personal health data with a sophisticated campaign management partner, you can target members with custom programs that are relevant and seamless. In fact, when companies make data a priority for their sales and marketing decisions, ROI improves by 15 to 20 percent, a report by McKinsey & Company found.
You can create personalized communication streams for members that are pre-diabetic for example, by sending diabetes prevention newsletters, interactive personalized videos about staying healthy or discounts for fitness memberships.
Or send targeted prevention campaigns and content about screenings for those members who haven’t had their annual wellness visits or who have missed their appointments. Find opportunities to include content about treatment options, special offers and calls to action in your marketing campaigns for optimal engagement. Not only does this approach show the member that you care about their health, but it’s also a proactive way to lower future claims.
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3. Choose the right channels
By looking at demographics, historical and third party data and opt-in preferences, you can determine the channels where you have the best chance of getting your members’ attention. Plus, when you determine the right channel, the cost-per-engagement can be significantly reduced.
Although email is more cost-effective, direct mail is the preferred method for members to receive information such as welcome kits and benefits information, a Pitney Bowes study found. Nevertheless, every channel that you target must be ones that members understand, are proficient in and use regularly.
Take Henry. Thanks to centralized data we know that Henry has not had a wellness visit this year yet, while Jennifer scheduled a wellness visit but never showed up. Based on historical and third-party data, we know that Henry will respond better to direct mail with a call to action focused on the benefits, while Jennifer will respond better to an email with click to reschedule options.
It is essential to personalize each marketing moment through the right channel while it still matters to your members. When you effectively use your data to deliver relevant experiences you can help lower claims and increase STAR ratings along the entire customer journey.
4. Stay in touch
Member engagement is not a one-time event. Take advantage of strategic touch points throughout the year to keep members engaged and reduce the risk that they’ll switch to a competitor when the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letter is sent in October.
For example, ask to set up a flu shot appointment, inquire about their satisfaction with their physician or check to make sure they had an annual mammogram.
Go beyond “insurance related” communications too. Plans that make thank you calls, send birthday greetings and personalized letters about a recent conversation are top-performers. In fact, a TeleVox study found that of the 66 percent of patients who received voicemail, text or email from a healthcare provider, 51 percent said they felt more valued.
5. Ask for feedback
Data from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey and access and availability of care surveys are vital for HEDIS scores and STAR Ratings, but asking for feedback from members through other channels is also important.
In the spring and throughout the year, reach out to customers and identify and resolve issues. Making a plan to do so will not only provide a personalized member experience, but it will also improve member loyalty and your scores.
6. Get help
Since it can be a challenge to create a personalized membership experience without the appropriate infrastructure in place, working with a healthcare member engagement partner that excels in campaign management solutions that include data scientists, campaign strategists, creative, pick/pack fulfillment and a call center can make the process not only more simple, but more intelligent.
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Tim Collopy, VP Business Development