As a health-plan provider, you do everything you can to make your services available. You provide physicians, prescriptions, and solid medical care advice for your members. You connect members with the hospital and facility care they need, make sure they get their medical test results on time, and you may even have a program to help members afford their medications and treatments. However, one challenge shared by all health plan providers is maintaining the quality of care for outpatient members who don't manage their own appointments.
The idea of a health plan is to make the resources for healthcare available, but what can you do when members don't book appointments, don't call their doctors, and refuse to leave their homes for treatment? At this point, you are dealing with someone who either insists on or physically requires an in-home care approach instead.
Fortunately, with modern technology and available services, you can provide. Today, we're here to highlight five different ways to improve your outpatient health plan quality for members who require in-home care.
1) Offer In-Home Physician Visits
Every health plan provider has a list of members who can't or won't come in for doctor visits. Even when those visits are necessary to keep them healthy or maintain their plan. Maybe they are deeply distrustful of hospitals, maybe a condition causes car rides to make them feel sick, or perhaps they are one of many who no longer feel strong enough to leave the house safely. Whatever the reason, the best possible solution when a patient can't go to the doctor is to have a doctor go to them.
With MedXM as your health plan partner, you can send a doctor who is dedicated to in-home care to the homes of your most absentee members. These doctors can make sure members are OK and keeping up with their home health routine. In-home physician visits can achieve the kind of in-depth assessment and care that technology has not yet found a way to simulate so you can know your patients are well cared for when they won't or can't come in for appointments.
2) Provide Telemedicine Checkups and Check-Ins
In between physician in-home care visits, telemedicine is a fantastic way to enhance and upgrade an in-home patient's quality of care. Telemedicine allows your physicians and medical staff to hold video conversations with a patient so that you can conduct verbal consultations and see that they are healthy and well at home. Because of mobile technology, you can even ask a patient to give you a tour of their home or do a few physical demonstrations of wellness to complete a telemedicine check-up and provide the highest possible quality of remote digital care.
3) Refer Members to Trusted In-Home Care Services
When you know a health plan member needs constant help at home and they don't have relatives doing the job, there's no need for your plan physicians to worry. One of the best things you can do is to connect your stay-at-home plan members with in-home care services to help cover the needs that you cannot provide for.
Get to know the in-home care services available in the area, if you haven't already, and refer the nearest and most trustworthy care services to patients who need the assistance. In-home care can provide cleaning, cooking, personal care, medication sorting, and reminders. An in-home care professional is also someone who can help you conduct telemedicine assessments from inside the home when the patient is not able or willing.
4) Connect With Members Through Live-Chat Support
Live chat is the new fastest and most accessible way for patients, their families, and their caregivers to get answers about a member's health care plan or their personal treatment plan details. Live chat can be manned in many different ways. You can use chatbots that have been programmed to give specific answers to specific questions. You can assign nurses to answer chat messages. You can also hire outsourced chat tech teams equipped with a database of answers to give and health professionals to call in an emergency.
This way, if a patient or their caregiver needs to double-check a medication dosage, ask about a maybe-serious symptom, or confirm an appointment can hop onto live chat instead of having to make a phone call or wait for office hours.
5) Provide a Health Plan Assistive Mobile App
Finally, consider providing a dedicated mobile app for your health plan members. A mobile app with a portal to their personal treatment plan and available resources can be immensely useful, again, for both patients and their caregivers. Mobile apps allow members to manage their own plans, make appointments or schedule visits instantly, and check on the facts of their plan without having to interact with anyone at all.
A mobile app is also the first step to connecting member smart homes to their care plans. This can allow the smart home to provide medication and appointment reminders and eventually more advanced care management options.
If your health plan has members who don't or can't come in for appointments, don't worry. With these resources at your fingertips, you can improve the health-plan quality of in-home care patients without having to bring the whole clinic to them. For more information about in-home physician visits and other supplementary health plan services, contact us today!