On Thursday, July 16th, 2020 our VP of Marketing, Brendan McClure, Bill Jenson from Independent Health Care, Linda Roman, and Brenda Mamber from Cenaturi Health, spoke at the 11th Annual Medicare Market Innovation Forum. Brendan, Bill, Brenda, and Linda explored designing a unique member experience and how leveraging data can build loyalty.
Here are our 5 Key Takeaways:
1. THE PANDEMIC HAS CHANGED MEMBER ENGAGEMENT AND MEDICARE PLANS ARE ADAPTING
Bill and Brendan both noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a number of existing trends in member engagement. Telehealth access outreach, check-ins with members about their wellbeing, and conversational engagement to both inform and uncover insights all took on much greater importance. For plans where these member-centric touchpoints and engagement procedures were already in place, the trust between member and plan was greater once the crisis started. Early COVID engagement strategies from the plans already engaging conversationally have given plans a unique advantage to build even deeper connections with members. Brendan gave a real example where an automated check-in with a Medicare population prompted a response from one member who said that he had not heard from anyone in two weeks and deeply appreciated the care and concern from the plan.
2. CREATE A UNIQUE MEMBER EXPERIENCE BY ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
When a plan can ask the right questions and supply the proper resources, members are more likely to engage and leave the conversation feeling heard. Plans often have underutilized resources and interventions due to a lack of member awareness, or because plans do not know who needs what. But simply asking members in conversational channels if they are experiencing issues like social isolation or food insecurity both create the opportunity to connect them with resources and identify members who may need follow-up. By asking the right questions, a plan can uncover barriers to action such as transportation, health literacy, language, and the like. Asking and then providing the member with the appropriate resources will not only drive engagement and drive behavioral change, it will help build the trust needed to engage in future conversations.
3. LONG TERM ENGAGEMENT BUILDS TRUST AND LOYALTY
Loyalty is a product of building trust. A member is more likely to engage in future conversations when they feel like the plan is invested in their health as much as they are. Brendan noted that trust comes from a plan who communicates accurately, timely and quickly. In addition to the example of COVID-19 outreach from plans that were already having conversations with members regularly, the panel noted how important building trust over time was when it came to SDOH barriers. Members are more likely to share barriers and more likely to accept help and interventions when there’s trust in an established relationship. The stronger that relationship, the more confident a plan can be in retaining that member over time, and counting on them to engage in the future.
4. ENGAGEMENT IS A BRAND DIFFERENTIATOR FOR AGE-IN
Because trust is established during ongoing conversations over an extended period of time, when a member is ready to transition into Medicare they are more likely to accept information and resources from their plan. That level of trust will keep members open and willing to communicate with their plan on a regular cadence. mPulse has found that members who received text outreach from their plan previously about health or services were much more likely to request information on their payer’s Medicare plan options via text. Leaning on the trust built throughout the relationship to continue to ask questions about their experiences with their healthcare and using that data from past conversations with the member to tailor age-in outreach can be a winning combination for both retention and member experience.
5. MEASURE THE MEMBER RELATIONSHIP
Brendan reminded the audience that the data you get from engagement depends on the questions you ask. There is value in all variations of member responses. Discovering whether a member is happy or unsatisfied with their plan creates the opportunity to tailor further engagement. Sentiment and intent analysis of member responses to automated outreach provides valuable feedback to the plan. Asking a member directly how they feel about their plan, or measuring positive and negative responses to questions about their health or the COVID-19 pandemic, gives plans insight on retention risks, hotspot geographies that may have provider network issues, or topics where members seem to be dissatisfied. Uncovering these potential blind spots and quantifying members’ expressed feelings toward their plan gives payers actionable data to impact everything from future engagement strategies to benefit design.