There’s an old fisherman’s maxim: fish where the fish are. As health plans elevate member engagement to a top priority, we’d like to suggest a new take on that maxim: engage members where they are already engaged, in other words, through the communications channels they are already receiving, and reading, and responding to with actions.
Clarity is on a mission to help health plans do just that. Why is Clarity, my printer, talking about engagement?
Because we’ve recognized the huge opportunity to test, learn, and optimize how you engage with your membership through the print channel. Let’s face it: the ID card packages, member guides, and EOBs you already mail to members could be doing so much more.
Additional Member Engagement. Zero Additional Effort.
The concept is simple: Plans have existing correspondence that’s actually touching their members multiple times a year. At the same time, plans want to drive increased participation in high priority member activities and benefits like portal registrations, chronic condition management programs, telehealth visits, mail order Rx enrollment, and more.
Health plans are asking how to maximize member engagement with their available resources. Clarity has a communication, correspondence, and engagement platform that allows health plans to leverage their correspondence to drive engagement with individual members.
So, we connected the dots with our Accelerate Member Engagement solution. Plans can use our SaaS technology and consultative services to enhance ID cards, EOBs, Member Guides, and other welcome and plan lifecycle correspondence to achieve better engagement and the strategic goals that depend upon it.
Here’s what that enhancement looks like and why it works.
A study conducted by JD Power looked at the important elements of communications from health plans. They found that clear, helpful, and proactive information increased customer satisfaction and consumer perception of trust. JD Power found that overall member satisfaction increases 209 points (on a 1,000-point scale) when plans meet these three key performance indicators related to information and communication:
- Clear – Clearly communicating to the member their out-of-pocket costs, deductibles, and providing adequate information and transparency around costs and savings.
- Helpful – Providing educational materials of value to members in understanding and managing their health.
- Proactive – Providing useful reminders related to preventive-based services.
The study also found that only 15% of Medicare Advantage plans were including all three of those components in communications, and that consumers believed they were 3.3 times more likely to get helpful information from a bank over a health plan.
Forrester also conducted a study that examined the longitudinal development of relationship and the consumers’ perception of their health plan. A key finding was that a member feeling appreciated, versus having a negative association or frustration with their plan, was a more accurate indicator of whether the member stayed with that plan. 66% of members were more likely to stay with a plan when they felt appreciated and 83% were more likely to renew. The inverse is also possible; If you cause frustration or negativity, those members are more likely to leave you.
Data provided by Engagys, a leading healthcare consumer engagement consulting and research firm, shows that if you included a source of information the member deems credible, or a voice of authority, the Medicare population was 10-15% more likely to engage.
If you craft a communication with the intention of engendering satisfaction, trust, and appreciation among your members, you can identify the elements that move the needle in those directions. Across a membership, trends will become evident that identify how different populations respond to each change and a roadmap for improved engagement becomes evident.
The Tenets of Effective Communication
There is a balance that needs to be struck between the art and science of optimizing member communications. For each, we apply the lens of opportunity to consider how can we further personalize a communication’s content based on age, demographics, and location, and other factors to make the information included in that letter more relevant and useful.
We apply best practices of behavior change principles to motivate members to take action. These tenets of effective engagement are how Clarity learns what works and with whom.
We spend a lot of time in the planning of stage understanding what data we have available about your membership and examining the population file that you are sending us. Using that information, we can segment audiences for appropriate messaging and tone:
- Speaking to a Millennial is going to be a very different interaction than speaking to a Baby Boomer.
- A new member should receive a different message that a renewing one.
- Print can have more impact on members that are not digitally-engaged.
As we put together the framework for communications, segmentation into cohorts by past behavior helps us identify the best way to guide members to the desired future behavior: