Healthcare consumerism is here: what payers need to know

July 1, 2021
Josie Rasberry

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The average American today expects several aspects from their consumer experiences:

  • Transparency
  • Convenience
  • Quickness
  • Personalization

As our CEO has often pointed out, Americans are great at consuming and in most cases, shopping has become digital, personalized, and easy. So now, members expect this same experience with their healthcare. With the rise of high-deductible health plans and the passing of the Hospital Price Transparency rule, you can bet that healthcare consumerism is here to stay. So how can your health plan adapt? Let’s discuss!

Transparency is key.

A McKinsey study found that 41% of members reported that one of their top three needs from their payer is to make things easier to understand. Plus, 58% of those surveyed said they wanted clarity around how much their healthcare will cost. And with that, 50% reported being unsatisfied with their ability to access cost information and 60% said cost was the most important factor for them to know before selecting insurance, choosing where to get care, or deciding on a treatment.

If you were wondering if your members really care about transparency, the answer should be clear now. Price transparency is obviously important to members and is actually very simple for your health plan to implement. Our Smart Healthcare Platform includes healthcare navigation and an easy-to-use mobile app that allows members to quickly shop and compare medical services before getting a huge bill. This takes the pressure off you to build new services or products to offer price transparency. Instead, you can partner with a third-party patient advocacy company that does it for you.

You can take transparency a step further by also being clear about how:

  • Members' coverage works.
  • What all your different insurance terms mean.
  • What members’ co-pay or sharing amounts are (depending on what type of payer you are.)
  • And more!

Personalization is the new standard.

A large part of healthcare consumerism, and today’s consumerism in general, is the concept of personalization. Your members no longer think that personalized, custom features and content are a “nice add-on.” It’s the new standard, according to 63% of consumers. The great thing about this member-desired feature is that there are so many options to create customized healthcare experiences! You can create free blogs or find helpful articles about specific health conditions to send to members with those same needs. Instead of offering several prescription discounts to all your members, only send the prescription discounts to members you know use those medications or have certain health conditions. You could go a step above and beyond by creating specific teams in your health plan who exist to assist specific patient populations within your plan. Offering customized, digital tools is another huge way to bring personalization to your members.

Final thoughts.

Your health plan members expect transparency and personalization in all of their experiences with you. They expect their needs to be met, and now have the confidence to go elsewhere if your health plan isn’t delivering. You can join the healthcare consumerism movement with just a few simple tactics:

  • Providing an easy to use mobile app to make transparent healthcare shopping a reality for your members.
  • Free resources that are specific to your health plan members’ needs.
  • Digital tools that can be customized to your health plan members’ lifestyles and preferences.

Following these steps will ensure your members' consumer expectations are met and they stick with your health plan. 

Download The Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download The Sedera Case Study

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download The Lowering Organizational Member Cost Guide

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download the Complete Guide to Growing Your Health Plan Membership

Learn the best strategies and tips for growing your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

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