How In-Home Health Risk Assessments Improve Member Engagement

March 1, 2017

People feel most comfortable inside of their own homes, it’s what they’re most familiar with and where they spend the most of their time. This is most true with retired and elderly health plan members; our elderly, for a variety of physical and social reasons, often find it difficult to leave the house. Through the implementation of In-Home Health Risk Assessments, health plans can cater to the needs of their members, which in turn benefits the plan. To elaborate, let's look at how in-home health risk assessments improve membership engagement.

Setting Up the In Home Visit

The first step to improving member engagement is to begin engaging with the member. Any outreach efforts should be done through a multi-media approach, using: phone, email, SMS, and mail. However, the phone is the most effective communication method for most people. Contact should be made initially, annually, and post-hospital discharges.

Once initial contact has been established, the main goal is to schedule a health risk assessment for the member in their home or at nearby retail clinic. Giving members the convenient options of an in home visit or at a nearby retail clinic improves the likelihood of completions and engagement.

Socioeconomic Factors are Seen by Doctor

When doctors make in home visits to members' homes, they're able to take a more personal approach to healthcare: it allows them to identify socioeconomic factors involved in the patient's health. These factors may play a significant role in the patient’s life; it could explain why the patient has trouble making it to appointments, or even just sleeping, eating, or breathing. Seeing these factors gives doctors a more holistic view of the challenges their patients face day-to-day.

In home visits, uniquely, give doctors the ability to assess members' health risks more accurately, rather than if the member visited the doctor's office. Answers to questionnaires and direct questions during a doctor's office visit show, mostly, the patient's subjective view of their socioeconomic factors; in home visits, on the other hand, give doctors the ability to clearly see the home environment of patients, thus, contributing to more accurate HRAs.

Members are More Comfortable

The two main goals for health plans should be to reduce costs and improve membership satisfaction ratings. One of the main ways to accomplish these goals is to entice members to be active in their care process. In other words, engaging members effectively leads to better health outcomes for everyone. This is why in home visits are so effective, because they greatly improve membership engagement.

Members are comfortable in their home environments, which means they're more likely to talk freely and openly to the doctor about their health. When members are more relaxed during the doctor's visit, they'll be more likely to share any health issues, problems, or concerns. Therefore, in home visits produce more detailed HRAs for prevention, and help build trusting relationships with health plans and their members.

Longer Visit Improves Engagement

The main objectives during in home visits are to: complete HRAs, screenings, counsel the member on medication and adherence, and perform ancillary services. In home visits are helpful to complete these objectives with quality results, because they're more intensive than the typical doctor's office visit. Spending an hour on the visit gives patients and doctors ample time to meaningfully conduct these objectives and discuss any pertinent health matters.

Members will appreciate the longevity of the in home visit, as many of them are elderly and have serious questions about their health. In home visits take away the stress and rush of visiting the doctor's office, allowing patients and doctors to reach a deeper level of understanding for their care journey. With a deeper level of trust and understanding about their health, members will be more engaged and health plans will meet their main objectives more often.

Summary

In home doctor visits are an effective way to engage members and complete HRAs. The convenience of the visit leads to more HRA completions, while the comfort and longevity of the visit leads to improved membership engagement and satisfaction. In home visits also, uniquely, give doctors a chance to assess any socioeconomic factors that may be affecting the patient's health, which wouldn't be possible with an office visit.

The benefits of in home visits are clear, so the question then becomes: how can in home visits be affordably facilitated across the U.S.? The answer: MedXM has a nationwide 50 state network of health care professionals and can affordably facilitate in home and nearby retail clinic visits for health plan members.

The data MedXM compiles is shared with PCPs and health plans, fulfilling the circle of care for optimal health outcomes. With the help of: technology, quality customer service, a nationwide network of healthcare professionals (experienced physicians, nurses, and skilled practitioners), and innovative thinking – MedXM has been helping health plans reduce costs and improve satisfaction ratings for over 25 years. If interested in learning more please contact us today.

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