Making action easy with connected patient experiences
by Miranda Anderson
The Healthcare system is worn thin in the wake of the grueling COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no shortage of perspectives on how to revolutionize care teams, connect technology to patients, and reel the system back to safety. And yet – this situation demands urgent action (Opens in a new tab), starting with a patient/member-centric approach to behavior change.
Let’s tackle health inertia in a people-first use case: closing gap(s) in care by end of Q2 2023. Waiting for systemic change will be too late. Providers, payers and health plans alike can take simple steps to engage these patients in their own care, right now.
Here's a key insight:
People are skipping primary and preventative care at alarming rates - down 10.3% since before the COVID-19 pandemic. That means high-cost cancers undetected. Diabetes undiagnosed. And cardiopulmonary diseases advancing on unsuspecting people. Gap in care closure was already a key component of value-based care. Now getting patients into primary care for screenings and vaccinations is even more critical. But with so many healthcare customers more comfortable on their couch than in their physician’s office, how will we create action?
Here’s our opportunity:
Let’s say our goal – across payer and provider teams - is to accelerate all patients to pre-pandemic levels of primary and preventative care. Quite simply, our patients need to know it’s in their best interest, and our system must support action with ease.
First, we’ll start by identifying patients or plan members with a lapse in primary and preventive care.
- For payers, this means referencing current and historic claims data. For providers, it’s data that should come from your EHR.
- You’ll want to look at the data in aggregate, as well as have correlative demographic and location-based intersection points.
- Then, if you’ve not already done this for previous marketing work, determine what anonymous member ID you can use to keep PHI secure.
Second, be intentional about the path-to-action for the customer.
- Build your text or email campaign with a click-to-act strategy: land the customer on a concise experience that frames the desired actions (a primary care visit, any possible gaps in care in an authenticated and HIPAA compliant manner). No upsells or distractions here.
- Starting with an outbound call center? Fill the service representative’s terminal with the same, actionable information.
- If a patient or plan member already has a care provider on file, highlight that information.
- Better yet, create a set filter feature on your provider-finder that launches with providers taking new patients, within a reasonable radius to the customer’s typical location. And showcase the top three to five. Our attention spans have gotten shorter – more scrolling means less action.
- Build or license interactive tools that make it easy for the customer to schedule their care.
- The health system needs to rebuild trust with this audience. Use a journey-building tool in your marketing operations to efficiently send automated follow-ups based on a patient’s interaction with your digital toolset.
Third, plan on price transparency messaging.
- Confirm by customer segment and insurance plan what precise primary and preventative care are covered. Over 40% of Americans have skipped out on care (routine, for illness and otherwise) because they were worried about the cost. Clarify what’s covered and dispel their concerns.
- If you’ve got an uninsured segment for whom you can’t confirm costs, consider a referral to your state health office and/or exchange, instead.
Even in the first launch, plan on basic audience segmentation and message testing
- For example, you may want to target those without primary care in two years differently than those who only skipped one. You’ll think about Medicare and Commercial plan members differently. And so on.
- Keep it simple at this stage. Just get one or two variables to test for each audience segment. We’re just building the muscle for content personalization at scale.
- Get multiple content options through your legal and compliance teams upfront, so you can test and evolve more rapidly once in-market.
Use CX strategies to measure the impact of your work internally.
- Can we measure the impact to scheduled visits?
- Can we measure the impact to closed gaps in care?
- What other patient feedback can we gather?
Gaps in care has always been a challenge with health equity at the heart. While primary care visits are down as noted earlier, middle class white women have been the first to return to their annual well-care appointments. Health plans and providers will want to think creatively about the strategies for non-white, lower-income audiences in subsequent phases.
By starting with the end in mind, we will build a concise platform that puts the customer and their health at the center. Stitching together the right data points, we can send messages that are relevant, provide secure experiences that are actionable – and can create paths to value that are measurable. Interested in learning more about how you can make action easy for your patients? Our team of experts are here to help!
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