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Melon Health Blog

Next-Gen Patient Engagement: Why It Matters For Health Plans

Posted by Siobhan Bulfin on Nov 6, 2019, 1:33:46 PM
Patient engagement is vital for organizations seeking to validate new models of care that prioritize efficiency and quality. For health plans, engagement is imperative to improving member retention and defray long-term costs. 

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That’s why it’s important for payers to consider next gen patient engagement strategies that put them ahead of the curve by stabilizing risk pools and conserving yearly profits. In this way, payers can continue to grow and invest in the future of health care while still improving their bottom line.

Here’s where patient engagement is heading and what health plans need to do to lead the way. 

Create a digital front door

Patients are consumers. Consumer engagement often serves as a digital front door that benefits providers, patients, and ultimately payers. It allows providers to gain valuable information about patients that will increase the accuracy of their care. By making medical advice available via all devices, health systems can improve patient adherence and retention. 

In addition, with digital platforms, health care organizations can personalize the patient experience. For instance, providers can make recommendations to patients that show up on their user dashboards. These suggestions help patients take the next steps toward better health as well as providing educational content that fits their situation.

With a digital front door, patients can track their progress and allow clinical staff to view biometric data and activity information. On the other hand, when patients need additional help, patient engagement tools give them channels to contact health personnel. 

In this way, patients can learn to manage their own medical conditions whether chronic or otherwise. As health plans follow the example of Medicaid and Medicare by encouraging, incentivizing, or even funding the adoption of these digital front doors, they gain a new way to address overspending within U.S. health care. 

Stratify patients’ health

Since health plans wear the cost of chronic disease, they need a way to improve patient health without increasing expenses. That’s why stratifying patients’ health is so important for payers. 

Health care organizations with engagement platforms can use patient data to create a hierarchy of needs. As health systems stratify patients based on clinical interactions, overall wellness (including mental and emotional health), and behavioral data, they can help patients prevent their chronic symptoms from worsening. 

Health plans, as a result, will then be able to conserve profits so they can invest in the future of their company.

Assessments and surveys

Patient engagement platforms offer an efficient way to conduct surveys driven by health plans’ wellness initiatives. This data can serve to help payers discover how much risk is involved with each patient. 

For example, Health Risk Assessments can be a great way to engage consumers in their health. Based on theses evaluations, health care organizations and health plans can hone in on the real issues that generate unnecessary expenses.

Unified patient data and customized recommendations

Health plans need to be able to optimize their revenue streams and retain patients. Since patient engagement tools are able to gather information from a variety of places, whether that be patient activity monitors or lab reports, they serve as a hub for customized patient wellness plans. 

These tools help patients stay healthy and satisfied with the level of care they receive. Clinicians can then promote proactive care when patients are experiencing emotional or physical symptoms. By enabling whole-person care, digital patient engagement tools help defray long term costs for providers and health plans.

Coaching resources made accessible

Another feature that’s important for next-gen patient engagement is accessible coaching. Digital platforms, for instance, allow providers to offer coaching from multiple vantage points such as one-to-one sessions or group coaching. 

In addition, if these resources are available 24/7 online, users can schedule their interactions with coaches at a time that’s best for them and with the communication tool they prefer (i.e. phone calls or video conferencing). As a result, patients will require fewer in-person appointments and expensive interventions, and health plans will have fewer expenses. 

Diverse educational resources

Providing content for patient consumption is an important facet of patient engagement strategies that encourages self-management. With digital formats, providers can offer these educational resources in diverse forms such as video, audio and articles. In this way, patients can learn using a method that works best for them. Patients, informed by accessible educational tools, and clinicians can then work together toward whole-person care.

Group challenges and social connections

Encouraging group participation is one way that patient engagement tools help patients stay active and engaged. Social features, for instance, allow patients to interact and comment on each others’ progress. As users interact, they’re better able to stay motivated with their own personal goals. 

By sharing personal stories of success, people can also encourage their peers to keep working toward healthier lifestyles. And as users talk with and relate to others with similar conditions, they’ll be better able to address the barriers that keep them from making lifestyle changes. 

All of these patient engagement strategies matter for health plans who want to lower costs and improve population health. 

The good news is that Melon’s platform is optimized for all of these next-gen patient engagement strategies. With the easy-to-use tools, educational resources, health coaching, and peer groups offered through Melon, health plans can promote whole-person care and lower costs.

Discover how to enable engagement strategies for your health plan members. Talk to an expert.New call-to-action

Topics: patient engagement, behavior change, value based care

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