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Why Employers Have Health Plan Vendor Management Fatigue and How to Fix It

Posted by Siobhan Bulfin on Dec 19, 2019 12:58:00 PM

In an effort to gain competitive advantage and give members options, health plans work with many vendors—in some cases, a different vendor for every condition. The problem with this approach, however, is that employers—the people purchasing the health plan’s services—are overwhelmed by all the options and find it difficult to manage all the vendors that health plans offer them. In other words, they’re experiencing vendor management fatigue.

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Instead of offering disease-specific solutions, providing a platform that serves all conditions and activates patients in their own care can simplify life for the employers who purchase your health plan’s services.

How Employers—and Users—Are Getting Vendor Management Fatigue

Employers tell us they’re overwhelmed by the vendor management aspect of their health plan. They also tell us their employees experience notification fatigue from the multiple vendors their health insurance gives them access to. These notifications are often ignored altogether, defeating the purpose of the various platforms. It’s too cumbersome for employees to deal with yet another complicated program, especially when it comes to their health. They want their health plan to bring value rather than complexity.

Users want to be able to quickly understand a vendor’s benefits so they can use them and make decisions, not waste time trying to figure out a new app or platform for each condition. In many cases, there is a different solution for virtually every condition out there. So the question is: How can these digital health solutions be consolidated to make people’s lives easier? And which are worth continuing to use?

To offer solutions to employers, health plans patch together a cohort of vendors in order to offer wellness programs, disease management programs (often with a different vendor for each disease), health coaching, and more. This can lead to disorganization and confusion.

Employers—or, in other words, the buyers—as well as members—the end-users—are becoming overwhelmed with the various options and looking to consolidate. As employers pare down the vendors they work with, health plans are at risk. They’ll likely work with the most streamlined plan, which may result in lost revenue for a health plan that can’t keep up. When it comes to consolidating, try this approach: 

  • Partner with (or build) a whole-person care platform that offers care for any condition
  • Apply design best practice to reduce notification fatigue while still activating members
  • Engage members with a combination of coaching and peer support to help them self-manage their condition

One hundred fifty-one million Americans, or approximately 50 percent of the population, receive health care coverage through their employers. Progress is being held back by siloed data models, obsolete technologies, and outmoded UX technologies. U.S. employers are in the health care business, which means they desperately need optimal technology and data to drive results. Employer health benefit vendor management is difficult and complex for employers and health plan members alike. 

Additionally, if a health plan’s goals are not aligned with the vendors’, outsourcing to them can result in quality issues. Vendor management needs to prioritize more than simply getting the lowest price, as the lowest price can bring low quality. Expectations from each side in a partnership agreement must be made clear from the start to prevent delays, escalating costs, and poor-quality deliverables. If a vendor takes the quality of services seriously, they should have no issue with specifying the details about quality in your contract. 

Consumerization in health care also presents a problem. If the solutions offered aren’t convenient for plan members, they won’t engage. Consequently, employers looking to cut costs won’t see a point in continuing to pay for them.

How We Can Solve the Issue of Health Plan Vendor Management Fatigue

When you leverage a whole-person care patient engagement platform, you can support patients to be engaged in their own health. Health plans can be revolutionized so members, providers, the health plan itself, and larger hospital systems can collaborate, ultimately lowering costs and improving the value patients receive. 

Digital platforms have the potential to increase member engagement, empowering and motivating members to be partners in their own care. Health plans can augment and extend their reach through more scalable, cost-effective, supported self-management that opens a digital front door for members to engage with their plan. This results in lower utilization—which, in turn, can mean fewer claims and allow health plans to conserve resources when it comes to risk pools.

Empowering employees also enables self-management for non-complex patients and helps health plans retain members by addressing social determinants of health

To learn more about offering streamlined benefits and condition management to your customers and members, download our ebook to help you “Build, Buy, or Partner” with a technology platform. With more efficient disease and condition management through a whole-person care app like Melon, you can improve care and member outcomes, all while lowering costs associated with complex conditions.

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Topics: healthcare,, whole person care, value based care

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Why Choose a Digital Platform? 

Whether you are offering the DPP In-Person, Combination, or Online, having a digital platform has many benefits.  A digital platform offers an engaging online community, HIPAA compliant messaging, fitness and nutrition tracking,  an extensive food database, and online modules for make-up sessions.  Increase your participant engagement and maximize your coach efficiency by adding a digital platform to your current DPP Program.  

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