3 Mistakes Health Plans Should Avoid with Membership Engagement

December 9, 2016

The healthcare industry, and those supporting it, are working overtime trying to develop strategies to connect with a modern and technologically advanced society. They're finding that technology, absent from personalized engagement, isn't an effective strategy. Health plans, in particular, are on the front lines of developing effective membership engagement strategies.

In an effort to help, here are 3 mistakes health plans should avoid with membership engagement:

  • Over Engagement

  • Wrong Engagement Perspective

  • Incomplete and Impersonal Engagement Methods

Over Engagement

Health plans understand now the importance of membership engagement, which has become a leading topic in the industry. Connecting with members has become a difficult task with all the distractions and busyness of modern society. In addition, health plans are struggling with growing numbers of members needing to be onboarded, increasing regulation and compliance standards to adhere to, and administrative processes transitioning with advancing technology.

One of the mistakes health plans need to avoid in this challenging environment is over engaging their members. According to industry expertise found in an article on Peppers & Rodgers Group:

“Some plans admitted that they reach out to a consumer multiple times in one month from different divisions. This over-engagement destroys trust and counteracts the benefits of the engagement in the first place.”

Basically, reaching out to members is vital, yet needs to be done strategically within a structured and coordinated routine. Having multiple departments reaching out to members without coordination, results in an impersonal experience members won't appreciate. Using an outreach partner to engage members with a coordinated and organized strategy, would eliminate over-engagement and have the best results.

Wrong Engagement Perspective

Health plans would benefit in defining their membership engagement perspective with a more helpful approach. Instead of trying to get something from members, health plans should approach engagement with the perspective of asking: how can we be helpful to our members? Essentially, health plans are offering the same services, yet, with a more helpful presentation at the outset members will be more inclined to connect back.

When members are being engaged with questions like: What can we do for you? Can we help you find a PCP in your area? What is the best way to connect with you? – then they'll be more likely to respond and become engaged with their care process. While it's true that members should actively seek to be engaged with their care process (regardless of the approach), many times they'll avoid becoming engaged until acute care is needed – resulting in poor satisfaction ratings, higher expenses, and lower membership retention rates for health plans.

Incomplete and Impersonal Engagement Methods

As previously mentioned, the engagement process needs to be systematic to avoid both over-engagement and impersonal engagement methods. Engagement should also include all forms of communication methods available, so members can choose which one they prefer. The ages and personalities of members differ widely, so what works for one person may not work for another.

Each engagement method whether it’d be an outreach call, email, website portal, at-home visit, nearby retail clinic, or a mobile app should have a personable approach. An organized and structured membership engagement strategy, coupled with a helpful strategic approach, then needs quality health care professionals and representatives to facilitate the needed HRAs, screenings, and information. The end point of engagement method needs to have a caring individual who understands the members' needs.

Summary

Membership engagement challenges in the healthcare industry are overcome by technological innovation, savvy business strategies, and caring personalities. Finding the balance within these solutions is being perfected constantly. Part of this perfection process entails health plans avoiding these 3 membership engagement mistakes.

MedXM understands the importance of finding the right balance with membership engagement. Our systematic, multi-faceted approach for engaging members is comprised of: technological innovation, professional healthcare expertise, organizational excellence, and a caring personal touch. Our nationwide network of healthcare professionals available for at-home visits is an example of this unique and effective approach. Please contact us today to learn more about our membership engagement strategies.

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