As a health plan provider, your ideal member is one who never gets sick or needs medical treatment and still pays their premium every month. Of course, not everyone has the good habits and good fortune to stay perfectly healthy, especially as they reach retirement years when the body begins to slow down, weaken, and become less disease resistant. There are also a large number of conditions that start slowly and are difficult to detect in your day-to-day life that health-conscious people don't even know to defend themselves against. Naturally you want to help your members detect these conditions in their earliest stages and seek the right kind of treatment to reduce or completely eliminate the potential risk to their long-term health. Preventative care and early detection measures are a wonderful way to offer your members long-term protection, not just 'break-fix' healthcare. Here are three great ways to improve the quality of your plan and reduce the risk of major hospitalizations for your members:
1 Offer Screenings for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis occurs when the body loses or under-produces bone. This causes bones to become porous, brittle, and sometimes painful but does not cause major health problems on its own. The real trouble lies in the fact that brittle bones break more easily, without warning causing immobility and hospitalization for your members.
Approximate 55% of people over the age of 50 face bone density loss due to osteoporosis and one in three women over 50 will experience a fracture due to osteoporosis at some point in their lives as seniors. In many cases, your members may not even realize they have osteoporosis and fractures and therefore do not take sufficient care to reduce impacts on their increasingly brittle bones. Your health plan can significantly decrease the number of undetected cases by offering osteoporosis screening to members above the age of 65, particularly elderly women who are at a much higher risk.
2 In-Home Assessments
Not everyone in your health plan is pro-active about taking care of themselves and there are still many people who prefer not to attend doctor's offices at all. These members can be potentially problematic and often refuse to see their primary physician or come in for a full health risk assessment. Doctor-shy health plan members not only leave unpleasant question marks in your paperwork, they are also at a higher risk of developing conditions that will go completely undetected and untreated until some medical emergency that requires hospitalization and extreme care.
One way to go above and beyond the call for quality member care is to send a Medical Doctor or Nurse Practitioner to their home and engage with them in a friendly, welcoming fashion. This solution can help your reticent members receive the medical check-ups they need in the comfort of their own home.
3 Post Hospitalization Follow Ups
All too often, once someone has been discharged from the hospital, a trailing complication will put them right back in a short time later. In many cases, the fault isn't with their medical care but some condition of their home that, if left unforeseen, could cause otherwise avoidable re-hospitalizations. With proactive follow-up assessments in a member's home, you can help your members identify any risk factors for re-hospitalization and work together to make their recovery environment as safe and healthy as possible.
Health plan quality may be measured in points, but it is created by providing compassionate and engaging care to your members. With early detection, preventative care, and considerate hospitalization follow-ups, you can help your members to significantly reduce their risk of illness or injury. The least traumatic health emergency is one that never occurs. For more information about improving your health plan quality, contact us today!