5 tips to engage and support your members during the COVID-19 pandemic

5 tips to engage and support your members during the COVID-19 pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging and communicating with your members has never been more important. Health plans have a unique opportunity to connect members with the information, resources and benefits they need to take care of their physical and mental health during these uncertain times.

And with the situation evolving so rapidly, your members run the risk of being confused by outdated, inaccurate and outright bad information. So, how can you best take care of your members now? How can you reassure them that you’re there in a time of crisis?

Here are 5 best practices for engagement and communication to help your members stay healthy and informed as they navigate the days ahead.

1. Communicate to all, but prioritize high-risk members

When it comes to emergency communications, you want to reach as many people as possible. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to communicate to high-risk populations—especially seniors, your mom & baby population, and those with pre-existing conditions—as well as those living in regional hot spots.

Focus in on these populations, while ensuring all members have access to critical COVID-19 information, resources and support. Promote in-home visits for select members if appropriate, and nurse lines and telehealth tools for all.

2. Use an omni-channel communications strategy

Many plans use just one or two channels for member communications, such as outbound mail and a call center. But different members prefer different channels, so there’s a risk those plans aren’t reaching as many members as possible.

Instead, use an omni-channel communications strategy to reach members where they are and in the channels they prefer. To communicate with members quickly and efficiently, use quick-to-implement channels like email and IVR, as well as SMS and direct mail—the preferred channels for many Medicare members.

3. Create easy-to-understand content

While all member communications are important, information about COVID-19 prevention measures, symptoms, and testing options are critical. If members can’t understand what they’re being asked to do or why it’s important, they might inadvertently neglect to take action, and their health could be endangered as a result.

So it’s essential to communicate simply and clearly. Explain complex medical terms in plain language; avoid clichés, idioms and slang; and use design to help readability. Above all, don’t just tell members what to do—tell them why it matters.

If your goal is to educate members about social distancing, for example, don’t just prompt them to stay home—explain why that’s important and the impact it can have on their health.

4. Be honest and communicate frequently

During times of crisis and chaos, your members need straightforward, frequent communication from trusted sources, including your health plan. Be sure to provide them with timely access to accurate information, critical services and resources to keep them safe and connected, and reassurance that you will support and protect them.

Members may be facing a great deal of uncertainty right now, so this is your opportunity to be a consistent touchstone and reliable source of expert guidance.

5. Don’t forget about the mental health of your members

While keeping your members physically healthy may be your first priority in times like these, don’t forget about their mental health. With so many people, especially seniors, dealing with seclusion at the moment, it’s important to help members feel connected.

Consider sharing tips on how to avoid stress, social isolation and loneliness, as well as ways to stay engaged with the broader community. In a time of social distancing, your plan can serve as a valuable point of connection, offering support to those who may feel alone.

Looking for more ways to inform, connect with, and reassure your members? We can help. Contact us here with any questions, or learn more about our new COVID-19 Rapid Response Engagement Solution.

 

About NovuHealth

NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, driven to improve consumer health and health plan performance. NovuHealth motivates consumers to complete high-value healthcare activities by leveraging its sophisticated engagement platform, proven loyalty and behavioral science strategies, and deep industry and regulatory expertise. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served nearly 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novu.com.

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Healthy moms, healthy babies: Improving Mom & Baby Medicaid engagement

Healthy moms, healthy babies: Improving Mom & Baby Medicaid engagement

Not only are prenatal, postpartum and well-child visits important for the health of mom and her baby, they also provide long-term societal benefits. Yet the United States has one of the worst rates of maternal and child morbidity and mortality in the developed world, especially among low-income women covered by Medicaid programs.

The reasons are varied. Many moms-to-be don’t realize they’re eligible for Medicaid until they’re pregnant—and the prenatal HEDIS measure must be completed in the first trimester, or within 42 days of enrollment. In addition, social determinants like housing instability, lack of transportation or time off work, along with a lack of childcare, can create barriers between expectant mothers and the care they need.

Given these challenges, it’s critical that Medicaid plans engage moms early with timely, actionable communications that motivate and enable them to close prenatal, postpartum and well-child care measures.

Download our new white paper to learn more about why proper care is so important, what prevents women from getting adequate care, and how successful plans are improving mom and baby Medicaid engagement. Plus, get the key strategies every plan should implement to engage and motivate their mom and baby population.

Medicaid Moms and Babies: Improving Health Before and After Birth

Medicaid Moms and Babies: Improving Health Before and After Birth

At NovuHealth, we’ve worked with several plans across multiple states, engaging and motivating moms-to-be to close critical prenatal, postpartum and well-child care measures. Check out our Mom & Baby Engagement Solution to learn how we’ve helped deliver results.

Read more: How NovuHealth helped 1 health plan significantly improve their Mom & Baby Medicaid engagement

About NovuHealth

NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, driven to improve consumer health and health plan performance. NovuHealth motivates consumers to complete high-value healthcare activities by leveraging its sophisticated engagement platform, proven loyalty and behavioral science strategies, and deep industry and regulatory expertise. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served nearly 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novu.com.

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7 surefire strategies to engage and motivate Medicaid members

7 surefire strategies to engage and motivate Medicaid members

Medicaid plan leaders know that in order to impact the health of their members, they must motivate them to complete the high-value healthcare activities shown to improve health outcomes. However, getting some members to play an active role in their own care is no easy task.

Driving Medicaid member engagement can also be a challenge due to the diversity across member populations and the increased impact of social determinants of health (SDoH).

In our new guide “7 Essential Strategies for Engaging and Motivating Medicaid Members,” we share seven essential strategies for fostering stronger engagement among Medicaid populations, and we showcase several real-world examples of engagement strategies that are delivering positive results for both members and plans.

Here are just three examples:

Strategy #1: Understand the Medicaid populations you serve

Just as misconceptions about consumers will foil a commercial campaign to convert prospects, so too will blanket communications to encourage a generalized “Medicaid enrollee” to make use of health benefits.

Plans should seek to fully understand their members, including their health status, risks for chronic disease, the socio-economic influences affecting their well-being, and their motivation to make changes for better health. When plans have a holistic view of members, they can more finely tune their approach to reaching and engaging people with complex circumstances and needs.

Strategy #2: Offer incentives that members value

Incentives can be effective in encouraging people to engage in productive health activities and change unhealthy behaviors, and Medicaid populations are no exception. The key is offering incentives that members value, targeting current (not future) behaviors, and delivering the reward promptly after the desired behavior has been completed.

In one CMS-funded incentive program pilot, participating plans provided incentives by offering Medicaid enrollees things like free classes, tobacco cessation products and counseling, health coaching and access to gyms.

Strategy #3: Use mobile technology to reach members where they live

If you want to improve Medicaid participation and engagement, send text messages. A recent survey from the Pew Institute reported 86 percent of people with a household income below $30,000 own a cell phone. A growing number of Medicaid health plans and providers have found that text messages not only reach members effectively, they are more engaging, interactive and immediate than phone call follow-ups and snail-mail notifications. Texting is also far more cost-effective than call centers and snail mail.

To see all 7 strategies for fostering stronger engagement among Medicaid populations—plus real-world case studies of engagement strategies that are delivering results—download our new guide, “7 Essential Strategies for Engaging and Motivating Medicaid Members.”

7 strategies for engaging and motivating Medicaid Members

7 Essential Strategies for Engaging and Motivating Medicaid Members

7 Essential Strategies for Engaging and Motivating Medicaid Members

About NovuHealth

NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, driven to improve consumer health and health plan performance. NovuHealth motivates consumers to complete high-value healthcare activities by leveraging its sophisticated engagement platform, proven loyalty and behavioral science strategies, and deep industry and regulatory expertise. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served nearly 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novu.com.

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Top member engagement program mistakes and how to fix them

Top member engagement program mistakes and how to fix them

Welcome to the first post in a series of five where we analyze the top member engagement mistakes we see health plans making, and provide proven strategies for designing and executing a more effective, cost-efficient program. Next month, we’ll be covering member segmentation—and some different ways you can strategically align engagement program communications to different member populations to achieve specific business goals. Don’t miss it!

Part 1 of 5: Measure prioritization

While most health plans today are doing a lot to engage members, we often see engagement programs that focus on too many or too few measures.

You may think, why not reward members for as many measures as possible? Or, if one measure is underperforming, why not focus exclusively on that?

The truth is, neither of these approaches prove very effective. And neither will use your program dollars very effectively.

So what are plans getting wrong? And, more importantly, what should they be doing differently? Here’s a closer look at the top three mistakes plans make when it comes to prioritizing measures—plus, tips for how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Rewarding members for completing every open care gap

Including too many measures in your program can mean wasting money on low-priority measures, rather than zeroing in on the measures that matter most and focusing your investment there.

With any engagement program, it’s important to align program activities with plan and program objectives—identifying and focusing on the measures and activities that can directly improve quality, enhance satisfaction, and more.

So when it comes to choosing the right measures to include in your program, prioritize those that will serve your goals.

Don’t forget to consider what’s most important for your members. Which measures are top priority for a particular member to complete? For example, you may have a member who is historically compliant in closing care gaps such as their Annual Wellness Visit and Flu shot, but doesn’t always complete important diabetic measures, like their A1C test. These diabetic measures should be prioritized, while the measures the member usually completes may not need to be included, or can be included at a lower priority.

Not only does this lead to a better member experience, but it helps engage the member to close the care gaps that matter most to their health—and to plan performance—first.

Mistake #2: Including activities that won’t impact your Star rating

Every plan wants to improve or maintain their Star rating, but all too often, plans include measures in their engagement program that won’t move the needle.

To get the most value out of your program, prioritize measures that are underperforming or on the edge of a cutpoint. Once you’ve identified which measures deserve your focus, you can then set a strategy in place to improve or progress each measure to the next cutpoint—or maintain its current cutpoint position.

Because, the truth is, not all measures are created equal. A measure’s value is determined by multiple factors, including not only its cutpoint position, but how many members are eligible for that measure. The fewer the members, the more value there is in getting each gap closed. And for Star ratings and CAHPS, certain measures are weighted more heavily by CMS. Considering these factors can help you narrow your focus and ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Mistake #3: Focusing on one measure to the detriment of others

Some plans are hyper-focused on just one measure, but being too narrowly focused isn’t a good thing, either. Including too few measures—especially just one measure—can fail to motivate members to engage. There’s simply not enough incentive for the member to participate.

In fact, we’ve found that offering an aggregate reward value of $100 or more, per year, is one of the keys to motivating members to engage.

So include at least a few activities for each member—and be sure to hit that total reward amount of $100. You’ll have a much better shot at impacting your highest priority measure (or measures)—and engage members to close other important care gaps as well.

In the end, it all comes back to prioritizing the right measures—focusing in on those that will have the biggest impact on quality and member satisfaction, and guiding the member to complete the most important care gaps first. With this prioritized approach, your program can deliver better results more cost effectively.

Looking for more guidance on which measures to include in your engagement program? Contact us for more information.

About NovuHealth

NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, driven to improve consumer health and health plan performance. NovuHealth motivates consumers to complete high-value healthcare activities by leveraging its sophisticated engagement platform, proven loyalty and behavioral science strategies, and deep industry and regulatory expertise. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served nearly 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novu.com.

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The proactive way to improve member satisfaction and impact CAHPS

The proactive way to improve member satisfaction and impact CAHPS

CAHPS survey results already comprise a significant part of a health plan’s Star rating. And with CMS placing more weight on CAHPS survey results going forward, improving member satisfaction has become an urgent priority for Medicare Advantage plans nationwide.

CAHPS already comprises approximately 20% of a plan’s Star rating. When CMS increases the weight of those measures from 1.5 to 2.0, as they’ve said they intend to, that will jump to 25%.

In addition to the quality bonus payments and rebates at stake, CAHPS scores are also critical because they’re closely linked to member churn. Among the Part C CAHPS measures, C26: Rating of Health Plan, is the strongest predictor of voluntary disenrollment. Members of the lowest-rated health plans are 4X more likely to churn than members in the highest-rated plans.1 Given what’s at risk, it’s no surprise health plans are prioritizing efforts to improve member satisfaction in the hopes of impacting CAHPS.

Why your current CAHPS strategy is incomplete

More than half of the CAHPS survey measures things that are largely out of a plan’s control, such as how well members like their doctor, and how easy or hard it was to get an appointment with a specialist. So most plans focus on provider engagement initiatives to help address these patient/provider experience measures.

But what about the member/health plan experience? Nearly 40 percent of the Part C CAHPS measures reflect a member’s experience with their health plan. If you’re only focusing on the measures providers can impact, you’re missing a big opportunity to proactively address the member experience measures within your control.

Another tool plans often use, mock CAHPS surveys, are helpful to identify members who are unsatisfied, but they don’t do anything to address the reasons behind the dissatisfaction. Plus, they’re reactive; the members who respond negatively are already dissatisfied.

The psychology of member satisfaction matters—it’s what separates HEDIS measures from CAHPS. Unlike HEDIS measures that deal in numerators and denominators, CAHPS measures deal in thoughts and feelings. They’re highly subjective, which makes them far more difficult for plans to impact.

Introducing NovuHealth’s Member Satisfaction Solution

NovuHealth’s Member Satisfaction Solution is designed to help health plans proactively address the most common sources of member dissatisfaction—and the Part C measures plans can address directly. We zero in on the members who are unhappy and/or unengaged, and we engage those members and reward them for completing activities that support their health. The result? An improved member experience, enhanced member satisfaction, and a positive impact on your CAHPS measures.

Want a quick overview of the Satisfaction Solution targeting strategy and program design?

Schedule a chat with an engagement expert to learn:

– How we identify a target population and apply predictive analytics

– The content and activities we use to engage and empower members

– Which KPIs we use to measure lift in member perception and satisfaction

1”Beneficiary Reported Experience and Voluntary Disenrollment in Medicare Managed Care,” Health Care Financing Review, 2003

 

About NovuHealth

NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, driven to improve consumer health and health plan performance. NovuHealth motivates consumers to complete high-value healthcare activities by leveraging its sophisticated engagement platform, proven loyalty and behavioral science strategies, and deep industry and

Read more