3 Insights From Industry Experts on Improving Membership Engagement

November 14, 2016

Improving membership engagement is synonymous with improving health plans overall. It is a main challenge health plans and their provider networks seek to overcome. There's no shortage of advice on this topic, yet there are some common strategies emerging. In an effort to consolidate some of the main themes, let's look at 3 insights from industry expertise on improving membership engagement.
  • Proactive/Multi-Channel Outreach

  • Focus on Customer Experience

  • Local Community Support/Health Advocate

#1. Proactive/ Multi-Channel Outreach

Outreach is a big topic among healthcare industry experts as a strategy to improve membership engagement. This is seen in an article found at online publication Peppers & Rodgers Group, called: “Membership Engagement Dominates Health Insurance Conversation at AHIP Institute”, written on June 26th, 2015. In this overview of the 2015 AHIP conference, Peppers & Rodgers Group President Ron Wince explained:

“...most insurers typically engage with consumers when there's a problem – if a member gets sick and has questions, when disputing a bill, or finding out about network resources...he recommended proactive outreach to begin to build a relationship during the good times.”

Most health plans, likely, agree with this, yet how do they go about implementing it? An article from Modern Medicine Executive, called “Five Ways Payers Can Improve Member Engagement”, written on November 23, 2015 by Jim Dalen – gives us some insights:

“Once members are identified, plans can begin contacting members through multiple channels, such as text messaging, email, automated telephonic outreach or a smartphone app.”

These are all good communication means health plans would benefit from implementing, to go even further: offer at-home visits (with healthcare professionals), regular mail, live representatives, and optimized website portals. A proactive, multichannel outreach is an effective way to increase membership engagement.

#2. Focus on Customer Experience

Health plans constantly look for ways to enhance the customer experience. To cater to their diverse customer base, health plans are now starting to act as a retail business would. In the first article quoted from Peppers & Rodgers Group, we learn more:

“Most health plans are beginning to move toward improving the customer experience by identifying ways to improve member onboarding, explanation of benefits, the claims process, wellness activities, and patient reminders.”

The article goes on to explain that “...over-engagement destroys trust and counteracts the benefits of the engagement in the first place...'A member wants to hear from us once a month at maximum,' said Ingrid Lindberg, former customer experience officer at Cigna and Prime Therapeutics.

Improving customer experience is an important membership engagement strategy, yet it needs to be coordinated and organized, in order that the outreach doesn't cross engage and counteract. Hiring an outreach expert to organize routine and systematic outreach campaigns with highly trained and knowledgeable, live people – effectively accomplishes this important balance.

#3. Local Community Support/Health Advocate

From the second article quoted, from Modern Medicine Executive, the author shares some interesting insights about a local community membership engagement strategy:

“A major engagement obstacle, especially, among high-risk patients, is the out-of-pocket costs associated with their care.”

The author goes on to explain why local community resources can be used to alleviate these problems, as well as a health advocate, explaining:

“For members unable to visit their provider, payers can encourage engagement by offering a home visit from a healthcare professional representing the health plan who would document conditions, perform lab tests, and present follow-up recommendations...shared with the member's primary care physician on record for any follow-up.”

Health plans would benefit by getting involved in their members’ community. Events such as health fairs, support groups, forums, and classes help health plans become a known health advocate in members’ eyes. In-home or local retail clinic based health services such as health risk assessments and health screenings can offer members a safe place within their own home and community to gain insight into their current health condition. Members will appreciate the convenience factor and recognize the local community support which in turn will improve health plan’s membership engagement and overall quality.


Health plans, their provider networks, industry experts, and healthcare partners are all working toward improving membership engagement for the benefit of everyone involved. These 3 expounded insights are a consolidated look at some of the strategies being implemented in 2016 and beyond to achieve this goal.


MedXM, uniquely, offers health plans a way to implement the top strategic insights from industry expertise, in order to: improve membership engagement, reduce costs, and increase membership satisfaction. We do this by designing and implementing preventative care technology and HRAs, combined with effective outreach methods that work. Want to learn more? Please contact us today for more insight.

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