At VitreosHealth, we launched our digital outreach solution in June of 2017. In that time, we’ve really learned what executives are looking for in a member engagement solution. Moreover, we’ve learned which attributes make a successful digital outreach program!
Do you have the right member engagement strategy for your target programs and cohorts? Is your digital messaging encouraging members to engage with their healthcare team? Are you promoting revenue recapture and gap closure? If not, here are four areas that your program might be lacking.
1. Your Messaging Campaigns Aren’t Insights Driven
Look at digital outreach as just one more aspect of your comprehensive member engagement strategy. The needs of your population should dictate which digital messaging campaigns you choose to invest in. At VitreosHealth, at the beginning of the year, we complete a State-of-Health Analysis (SOHA) for our clients’ populations. This analysis aims to identify opportunities by understanding the changing population risk, clinical outcomes, and the underlying drivers for poor performing member cohorts. We then identify the population cohorts we need to target and help our clients design care management programs for each cohort.
This analysis helps us determine the most appropriate frequency of engagement and the mode of communication. Exhibit 1 illustrates our process to link customer goals and objectives to comprehensive member engagement strategies and execution. Care management resources are very expensive and you must identify the right mix of care managers for outreach to maximize return on investment. You need to augment high-touch care management with low cost digital outreach by targeting the right members for the right gap closures.
2. Your Messaging is Not Multi-Modal
There are dozens of vendors that offer member engagement solutions that utilize automated phone calls, but is that really the most appropriate way to reach your members? Imagine this: you are in a very important meeting and your phone (which is on silent) lights up. The screen is flashing a number you’ve never seen before. You don’t answer and then a few minutes later, you realize the caller has left a voicemail. After the meeting ends, you may get around to checking the voicemail hours after the call, if at all. When you realize it’s an automated call urging you to visit your PCP, you hang up and decide to make an appointment when you have the doctor’s office phone number handy. How often does that end up happening in a timely fashion?
Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day (CTIA). In fact, 97% of adults text weekly (Pew Research). 98% of texts are opened with an average response of 90 seconds (Dynmark). You might think that this sort of technology is not relevant or easy for Medicare patients. But the research shows otherwise. A study published in January of 2018 in JMIR showed that using text message reminders improved medication adherence by 14% for Medicare members. Half of mobile users age 55+ have a smartphone. In the 50-64 age range, 88% own a cell phone, and in the 65+ age range, 74% own a cell phone. Out of all cell phone users, 81% use their phone to text message (Pew Internet). 94% of smartphone users 70 and older are text messaging on a weekly basis (Experian).
The truth of the matter is that phone calls are not a convenient form of communication for most people. Emails and texts display all the necessary information in a way that enables you to consume it on your own time. People don’t want to step out of a meeting and answer the phone call as it comes in. They would much rather read a text or an email when they have a few seconds to themselves. In our experience, patients are up to 54% more likely to engage with texts from their healthcare team than with automated phone calls. In the end, driving patients to engage is dependent on how convenient it is for them to act. Use communication that makes sense for their lifestyles.
3. You Are Using Digital Outreach Only for Appointment Reminders
Digital member engagement is not just helpful in promoting appointment adherence. Use this solution to help you close gaps, recapture revenue, and promote healthy lifestyle choices. The Vitreos Digital Outreach Solution has three types of programs outside of appointment reminders:
- Health Promotion: these programs educate and encourage patients to make decisions that help them lead a healthy lifestyle. We have also found that these programs lead to an increase in patient loyalty and retention.
- Disease Prevention: these types of programs aim to inform patients of appropriate vaccines and screenings that can help them ward off illness. Getting patients in for screenings and vaccines results in gap closure and revenue recapture. Often, organizations that invest in Disease Prevention digital outreach programs see an incidental rise in quality scores.
- Disease Management: these communications address member specific needs in the moment to provide hyper-relevant information and support to those with chronic conditions. This sort of communication is meant to support efforts made by your care management team.
4. You Aren’t Utilizing a Member’s Motivational Index
At Vitreos, we know that our patients are individuals with a unique set of financial, medical, and life impacts. We have a tremendous opportunity to persuade people to become more knowledgeable, confident, and empowered to make the best healthcare decisions and achieve and maintain optimal health. We can only do that by convincing them to act. Our challenge is to cut through the noise in a way that feels authentic, compelling, and actionable. By using psychographic segmentation to tailor our messaging to patients based on their motivations and preferences, we have a much higher chance of prompting action from them.
Marketing and advertising agencies have been using psychographic segmentation for decades. Psychographics pertain to people’s attitudes, values, lifestyles and personalities, and are the key to understanding healthcare consumers’ motivations. Segmenting people by these characteristics allows you to target and deliver communications that resonate more effectively and increase the likelihood of behavior change. In Exhibit 2, I illustrate how women with two different psychographic profiles might receive reminders to schedule cervical cancer screenings.
On average, 39% of patients that receive our messaging close their open gaps within 3 months. 50% of patients interact and engage with our messaging. If your current digital member engagement solution isn’t data-driven, multi-modal, and customized for each patient’s motivational index, you’re leaving money on the table.
If you would like more information about the VitreosHealth Digital Member Engagement Solution, please contact me at Abansal@vitreoshealth.com