Three ways you can empower members to make better healthcare decisions

July 8, 2021
Josie Rasberry

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Whether you’re a large insurer, a health cost sharing group, a self-insured employer, or somewhere in between, odds are that your members would like lower healthcare costs. After all, isn’t that something we’d all like? One way to achieve lower healthcare costs is through empowering patients to be educated healthcare consumers. But healthcare consumerism doesn’t just mean shopping for healthcare, it also means being engaged in your health and making good decisions based on:

  • Financial needs.
  • Health needs.
  • Coverage options (if any.)
  • And personal preferences for the patient and their family.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss engaging ways you can empower members to make good healthcare decisions.

Incentives and rewards programs.

One of the best ways to get your members engaged with their health is to create incentives. Sure, the possibility of better health and lower costs is an incentive, but sometimes people need a little more. More specifically, sometimes people need a reward that is quick and tangible. That’s where rewards programs come in. Platforms like Rally Health are a great way to implement engaging strategies that empower members to be good healthcare consumers. For example, one of Rally’s programs helped to reduce healthcare costs by as much as $674 on average! You could also create your own rewards program to make sure members are engaged with their health. For example, you could offer a premium rebate to pay for a portion of members’ gym membership to encourage them to exercise as a way to improve their health. Some groups even offer members discounts for joining a Direct Primary Care practice since they know the member will get more personalized care and be empowered to reach out to their primary care doctor whenever they need. You could also offer gift cards as an incentive to get members to receive health screenings and lab tests, which can often catch health issues early on and prevent conditions from worsening. 

All-in-one platforms for healthcare management.

One of the reasons members don’t make smart healthcare decisions is because healthcare is confusing and hard to navigate. Or, members have a fear of receiving a high bill and avoid care altogether (we’ve all read the horror stories in the news.) Through healthcare navigation and bill negotiation though, you can address those concerns and empower members to be engaged healthcare consumers. Our Smart Healthcare Platform offers a three-in-one approach to making healthcare easier for members:

  • A mobile app that makes shopping for healthcare possible with transparent pricing.
  • Expert healthcare navigators who listen to your members’ needs to find the best care for them (and your plan) at an affordable price.
  • Dedicated patient advocates who will negotiate down your members’ expensive medical bills.

Personalized tools and services that do the heavy lifting for your members and ensure they’ll be engaged in their health. And of course, this healthcare engagement leads to better decisions that save time and money while leading to better care outcomes.

Align with members’ goals.

And we don’t just mean their financial or health goals, but they’re personal goals too. Our friend Jan Oldenburg put it best in one of our previous podcast episodes:

“We have to understand the goals of the person, not just the goals of the system. For example, for diabetics, we focus on ‘What’s their A1C score?’ Well, they may not care about the A1C score, but they may care about how it makes them feel. They may care about their ability to get to church every week, which only happens if their score is lower. They may care about their ability to play with their grandchildren, or have the stamina to continue to work, or whatever the measure is for them. But because we (healthcare professionals) tend to force our measures on them, they don’t have a vested interest in them. They don’t have a stake in that game, at least in the way we phrase it.”

When you speak to your members in a way they understand and present them with goals that align with theirs, you’ll see an increase in engagement and better healthcare decisions.

Final thoughts.

Healthcare consumerism is all about empowering people to make informed healthcare decisions that benefit them the most. As a health plan, healthy members finding affordable care is beneficial for you too! Because engaged members are a win-win, you should be implementing strategies that make it easier for your members to be good healthcare consumers. You can start with any one of the tips mentioned in this blog, and if you need help, reach out to us!

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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