NovuHealth CEO Tom Wicka’s top 3 predictions for 2019

NovuHealth CEO Tom Wicka’s top 3 predictions for 2019

As CEO, I often get asked to talk about what’s next in healthcare, and what health plans can do to stay relevant and competitive. When I consider the events of the past few years, in addition to our experience helping health plans engage their consumers, I see 3 main trends on the horizon for 2019.

Prediction #1: Plans that embrace consumer centricity will win

The industry is buzzing about retailers like CVS and Amazon entering the payer space. While there are several implications to unpack there, one key takeaway is that consumer centricity will no longer be optional.

As retailers, both CVS and Amazon have invested heavily in the experience consumers have with their respective brands, and it shows. This kind of elevated consumer experience will become the rule in healthcare, not the exception—and it will change the way consumers expect to engage with health plans and other healthcare services.

In addition, consumers—especially Medicare Advantage members—have more choice and information than ever before, and they’re more willing to take their business elsewhere if they have a frustrating experience. It’s been said for years that plans need to start seeing members as consumers, and that’s more true now than ever before.

Successful plans in 2019 (and beyond) will win by taking a page from the retail industry’s consumer marketing playbook and build member engagement strategies around best practices like propensity modeling, sophisticated segmentation, personalization, and omnichannel communications.

Prediction #2: SDoH will shift from theory to practice

Plans have long known the importance of addressing the social determinants of health (SDoH) in theory, but in 2019, more plans are going to start addressing them in practice. CMS’s increased flexibility for supplemental benefits certainly plays a big part, but plans are also recognizing they need to move further upstream if they hope to impact downstream outcomes among their high-risk populations.

For plans that don’t know where to start with SDoH, leveraging the supplemental benefits to provide rides, meal delivery and in-home care is a great place to start. There are also a number of well-established community organizations already providing a wide range of services. Plans should consider building partnerships with those organizations to connect their high-risk members with the services they need.

In the end, the best programs in the world won’t matter if the people who need them most aren’t aware of them or able to take advantage. Plans should identify which members are most in-need and develop a personalized communications strategy to target and engage them.

Prediction #3: Quality and risk adjustment will integrate

Quality and risk adjustment teams within health plans have owned a different piece of the member engagement puzzle for far too long—which often leads to a fragmented consumer experience. When the structure of teams, departments and functions is driven by the org chart, and not a member-centric strategy, the consumer experience suffers.

Instead of competing for resources and member mindshare, smart plans are aligning these teams around a common goal. And they’re re-organizing their departments and reporting structure to foster better collaboration. Under this model, quality and risk adjustment can still have separate initiatives. But they start by working together to identify quality and cost drivers, and they agree on a member-centric strategy that drives their initiatives.

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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Press Release—NovuHealth announces new Chief Operating Officer

Press Release—NovuHealth announces new Chief Operating Officer

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – November 19, 2016 – NovuHealth has hired health care industry veteran Rob Sorensen as Chief Operating Officer. He will report directly to Tom Wicka, NovuHealth CEO. Rob will oversee Technology & Delivery, Product, the PMO Office, and Client Management. “Bringing Rob on board is one of the key steps toward building a fully integrated product to sales strategy and process. Rob’s deep experience, knowledge and exceptional operational skills add to our already strong bench to further advance NovuHealth to our next stage of operational maturity and sustained growth. As a high-growth, fast-paced technology and services company, NovuHealth and our customers will benefit immensely with Rob as COO,” commented Wicka. Rob has over 25 years of cross-industry experience in driving positive change and is a highly experienced health care and management consulting executive with a proven record of developing strategies and business operations that drive business results. Most recently, Rob was COO of Magellan Healthcare Commercial Business, focused on behavioral health services for health plans and employers. Past roles include President and CEO at Gardiia; Vice President of Medicare & Retirement Operations at UnitedHealthcare; and Senior Executive with Accenture’s Customer Insight Practice.

 

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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NovuHealth’s Diabetes Prevention Program Proves Effective & Cost-Efficient

NovuHealth’s Diabetes Prevention Program Proves Effective & Cost-Efficient

Back in July we announced the availability of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a digitally delivered National Institute of Health protocol through the Novu platform. Novu’s DPP addresses the growing type 2 diabetes epidemic in America for our clients. Today, our initial customer pilot has come to a close, and we’re pleased to share the results.

see the press release

The goal of the pilot was to help participants reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing 5-7% of their body weight—a percentage that has been clinically proven by the CDC to reduce an individual’s risk of developing the disease by almost 60%. Participants leveraged the Novu platform, which combines daily programs, rewards, community support groups and social networking with Fitbits and digital scales, as well as support from a registered dietitian.  At the end of the 16-week pilot, this combination of education, access and technology resulted in:

  • 90+% participation in weekly telephonic coaching sessions;
  • 150+ minutes of activity per week on average per member;
  • 7.8% average weight reduction;
  • 81% of participants in the study met their 5% weight loss goal

The success of the DPP supports Novu’s over-arching philosophy that member behaviors and attitudes are most likely to change when the relationship between the insurer and the insured is based on trust and collaboration. We have long believed that evolving this relationship away from traditional and transactional communication methods (think IVR and direct mail campaigns) toward a more mutually beneficial and relevant partnership is necessary—particularly in today’s health care environment where older Americans with chronic health conditions account for 66% of the nation’s health care spending, and considering that traditional campaigns usually achieve around a 1% response rate. The fact that Novu’s DPP pilot program achieved the results that it did is indicative of a more effective and cost-efficient way to reach consumers by utilizing consumer-centric communication strategies, personalization and technology, even for costly, chronic and complicated populations.

Our approach is one of engagement rather than intervention—creating and sustaining a relationship that is personal rather than patronizing. As we continue to support and catalyze health care’s engagement revolution, delivering protocols like the DPP to diverse populations—at scale—will be key to addressing our nation’s most chronic and costly problems.

see the press release


About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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Diabetes Prevention and NovuHealth

Diabetes Prevention and NovuHealth

Today, we launched our Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is based on leading research from the National Institute of Health (NIH), who has done amazing research on this disease. Our goal with this program is to equip health care companies and employers with a comprehensive program that draws on our platform to reach, educate and reward individuals with diabetes or at risk of developing the disease toward lifestyle changes, including improved nutrition and increased physical activity. We chose these specific areas to target, as they are proven, according to NIH data, to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by half for the general population and by 70% for seniors over the age of 60.

We all know this is a massive problem for our nation’s health system, and it’s costly for health care companies and employers to control.  The disease has reached epidemic proportions and affects a large proportion of our population, especially seniors. Today in the U.S., 29.1 million people have diabetes, which represents 9.3% of the country’s population, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That number is up from 26 million people in 2010. Meanwhile, another 86 million adults, or one-third of the population, have blood sugar levels high enough to be diagnosed with pre-diabetes, the same research asserts. Unchecked, this growth will certainly bring an increase in treatment of extremity disease, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness and others, which will continue to strain healthcare budgets – both public and private – and also present a challenge to some population health models.

A recent paper in the American Journal of Managed Care offers a call to action for what the authors call a “multifactorial approach to risk reduction.”  Health Plans play an huge role in both connecting at-risk members with treatment and cultivating and pushing members toward lifestyle changes.  As such, these organizations should equip members with a “multifactorial” arsenal, as they have access, control and influence over key pieces of the puzzle, including individual health data, wellness programs and benefit designs.

We feel our new Novu Diabetes Prevention Program, will play a key part in targeting the behaviors and decisions that can decrease or mitigate the risk of diabetes. Specifically, our content – a 16-week change program focuses on diet and exercise – provides a compelling and holistic education component. Moreover, health plans and employers super charge this content through our platform.

See our press release

By decreasing and mitigating the effects of diabetes, insurers, health care providers and large employers can reduce cost, engage consumers and ensure a more efficient and effective health system.


About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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CMS Supports NovuHealth Approach To Rewarding Health

CMS Supports NovuHealth Approach To Rewarding Health

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new guidance to enable Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations to offer health-driven rewards and incentive programs that may be applied to an expanded list of health-related services and activities. Specifically, these organizations can now create one or more programs that provide rewards and incentives to enrollees in connection with participation in activities that focus on promoting improved health, preventing injuries and illness, and promoting efficient use of health care resources.

Even more important, however, is that the new CMS regulations validate NovuHealth’s fundamental vision: daily, incremental healthy actions engage individuals in their own health and should be rewarded and incentivized.  This approach to consumer-centric health engagement and rewards closes care gaps, activates individuals in their health and reduces costs for payers and providers.

At NovuHealth, we’ve proven that rewards and incentives – when combined with incremental actions – inspire enrollees to take responsibility for their health, advance better health behaviors and contribute directly to positive health outcomes.  In fact, Dr. Ali Shirvani-Mahdavi, who leads operations and strategy at NovuHealth, was cited in CMS’s ruling on this topic for his original research!

I’m proud to say we’re the only company that has experience working with MA organizations on rewards and incentives – and our daily, incremental approach to engagement is truly unique in this space.  We’ve already delivered tangible results for populations across all age ranges, including the at-risk seniors and which require significant expertise and insight.

This is a significant opportunity to activate enrollees toward healthy outcomes.

Tom Wicka

 

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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