Providers throughout the healthcare continuum are increasingly held accountable for the care they are providing, which in turn is turning to more communication with patients by multiple providers, oftentimes being asked the same questions. For patients on the receiving end of these messages, it is easy to image quickly becoming tired of answering them and wanting to disengage completely.
This concern is especially true for managed care organizations who are responsible for patients throughout their entire care lifecycle. Finding the right balance of patient communication can be tricky, but becoming aware of member communication fatigue is the first step to proactively addressing the issue and seeing the best possible results.
To address member communication fatigue, here are three tips MCO’s can leverage to achieve desired results without bombarding members with unwanted messages.
1. Use the Member’s Preferred Method of Communication
There are many ways that managed care organizations can communicate with patients. Phone calls, text messages, emails, and direct mail can all be used to serve different purposes; however, oftentimes patients will have a preferred method of engagement. The best way to reach and engage with patients is to first understand what that preferred method is and observe that preference.
This may mean allowing them to choose which method is best for various activities. For example, a patient may wish for a phone call to remind them of an upcoming appointment, but an email to explain his or her benefits. Uncovering and observing these different preferences will help to increase member engagement rates and ultimately keep members more satisfied with their plan experiences.
2. Be Timely with Your Communications
Timely communication with members is a key aspect of reducing fatigue. Members are more likely to be engaged when the information is most relevant. For example, gathering accurate member information is more likely to happen if the organization asks for it within a month of plan enrollment. Or if members often wait to get their flu shot, sending educational reminders earlier in the flu season will help to drive earlier vaccinations.
3. Collaborate with Providers
As providers are incentivized to engage members, it is more likely they will want to perform similar outreach to your organization. Instead of duplicating the outreach, work together to design communication programs such as post-discharge follow up that achieve desired results without overburdening the patient. Working with third-parties can help to marry provider and managed care data so that improvements can be made in the long run.
For managed care organizations looking to increase their member engagement rates, understanding and addressing the challenges of member communication fatigue is critical. Adhering to member preferences will not only keep members most satisfied but will lead to better outcomes and lower cost in the long term.
Are you interested in learning more about member communication and engagement? If so, explore our eBook on engaging complex patient populations.