A widespread complaint among self-insured employers and healthcare consultants is that employees are not engaged in their healthcare programs. In a rapidly changing healthcare marketplace where consumers have more control over their healthcare than ever before, their involvement is critical.
Yet, studies show that consumers are less involved in their healthcare purchasing decisions than other purchasing decisions in their lives, like personal electronics or booking leisure travel. As healthcare costs continue to rise, employees (also known as consumers) will need to be more financially responsible and engaged in their own healthcare. How can employers help their employees and families succeed in this new environment?
Offer great value
Engagement techniques differ from company to company, but the key is to meet consumers where they are, show value, and offer support along the way. Take it from retail companies like Citibank, Walmart, and Coca-Cola. These companies are successful because they take time to look at their products and services through the eyes of the consumer. They know their consumers’ needs and know how to place their products in the limelight when purchasing decisions happen.
Consider these techniques to deliver more valuable healthcare solutions:
- Offer high-tech and simple communications tools, such as mobile apps or email access.
- Put forward tangible incentives for consumers to participate and learn about their healthcare plans.
- Improve efficiency and clinical outcomes by organizing patient care through care coordination.
- Provide expert support through in-office personnel or care coordinators.
Make consumers’ lives easier
Customer expectations for healthcare solutions are being set by companies industries outside of healthcare. Brands like Amazon have set the bar high for consumers to expect the services and products that they buy to make their lives easier and deliver excellent customer service. As healthcare consumerism continues to rise, healthcare providers must do the same.
One way to approach make healthcare easier and more convenient to consumers is through care coordination. Through this approach, coordinators facilitate the efficient delivery of services, ensure the best possible clinical outcomes and allow patients to focus on recovery.
The practice streamlines communication and organizes the required resources for optimal care. As care coordinators serve as a single point of contact for the patient, they make patient (consumer) lives easier by assisting with:
- Insurance claims questions
- Pharmacy benefits information
- Provider paperwork
- Coordination of inpatient and outpatient care
Are you embracing the concept of employees as healthcare consumers? How are you meeting basic consumer requests of great customer service, great value and delivering on promises in your employee health plan?
Apta Health empowers employers to get the most out of their health benefit plans. Our program combines the best employee benefits solutions in the industry with cutting edge technology to reduce wasteful spending and healthcare costs. Learn more about Apta Health.