We all get sick from time to time, even if we do our best to stay healthy. A common cold, a little virus, or even the full-blown flu. No matter how cautious you are, you can’t avoid getting sick. On the flip side, there are also conditions that are avoidable when we practice good health.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy for many people though. In fact, it's one of many reasons that Americans aren’t engaged with their health. A 2020 study found that only 30.9% of respondents were “highly engaged” with their health. This is bad news not only for the health and wellbeing of Americans, but it’s bad for health plans too. As a health plan, it’s in your interest to keep your members as healthy as possible to minimize claims.
So how can you make sure your members engage with their health? One way is through well-rounded healthcare platforms that make it easier for members to engage. Let’s dive into the types of platforms that can help your members stay involved in their health.
There are a lot of tools and strategies out there to help patients manage parts of their health; but therein lies the problem. Each tool only allows partial management of a patient's health. What patients have is a patchwork quilt of various apps and websites they'll never take the time to open or use.
A simple, all-in-one healthcare platform where members can manage their whole health is ideal. When members can do all the following in one place:
- Search for medical care.
- Compare prices.
- Schedule an appointment.
- Manage their health information.
They'll be far more likely to use that platform. After all, who wants to open ten separate apps or websites to find and schedule a doctor's appointment?
Simplicity and accessibility are key to get members engaged in their health.
Another type of platform that can help make your members more engaged is one that offers gaming features. Competition, accountability, and accomplishment are all in these platforms and are great motivators. A few “gamified” platforms you might think of are Rally or really any fitness app. One research study put 800 students through an 11-week exercise program that included a social network. The program was a competition, and participants won by attending the most exercise classes. Participants who were in a competitive group attended 90% more classes than those who weren’t in competitive groups. Gamification is a positive motivator for members to engage in preventative care and other activities that improve their health.
You hear "silos" a lot in healthcare. Miscommunication, and even total lack of cooperation, between the different key parties in healthcare are a big issue. This is odd when you consider that providers, patients, and payers tend to have the same end goal of meeting patient needs. But, the problem is that each of these stakeholders has different incentives and roadblocks to reach that goal.
Platforms can help bring these main stakeholders together to create a clearer path for great health outcomes. Take AirBnB for example; their hosts and guests work together to meet mutual goals. Guests get fair-priced accommodations and hosts make money on property that would otherwise be vacant. The platform facilitates the transaction and ensures quality. This same concept in healthcare creates positive value for all parties. The biggest value being better health outcomes.
Platform technology in healthcare has many positive benefits. Platforms for finding care and managing health in one place make it more convenient for members to engage in their health. Gaming features trigger members’ natural desire for accomplishment, which results in healthier decisions. Platforms that bring the different stakeholders in healthcare together can make communication easier. That alone is a big benefit, but it also eliminates the confusion that often keeps members from engaging with their health.
Bottom line, when your members actively engage in their health their chances of getting sick decrease. And healthy members mean lower claims and a happier community.
Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.
It's possible to cut costs without hurting your membership base! Learn how.
Learn how to keep organizational costs low by helping members avoid unnecessary care.