Employers and consumers are looking for new solutions to the healthcare challenges being faced today, including the complexity of benefits, gaps in care and rising costs. That mindset has caused leading payers to think outside the box in their attempt to win new customers.
A sound strategy built around innovation and customer care is winning out as payers try to ensure that not only do they keep the customers they have, but bring in new ones to achieve success.
Tom Wicka, CEO and co-founder of NovuHealth, which serves more than 40 health plans across the U.S., says regardless of the product segment, any payer’s success depends largely on its ability to engage consumers.
“Few payers have mastered consumer engagement—historically, they haven’t had to,” he says. “But with the growth of consumerism in healthcare and the shift to value-based care, building meaningful connections with consumers has become imperative.”
Therefore, to remain competitive, he says, health plans need to take a page from leading consumer brands and adopt the consumer engagement best practices they have already perfected, including user segmentation and propensity analytics, personalized content and communication channels, and rewards that not only inspire action but build long-term trust with members.
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Christine Paige, chief marketing executive of Kaiser Permanente, an integrated managed care consortium based in Oakland, California, says one of the biggest changes over the years is the move toward greater personalization.
“There’s been an increased usage of what people have told us about their interests and preferences to make the information and dialogue more relevant,” she says. “That is different from the one-size-fits-all communication that used to prevail.”
Choosing a focus
Nick Brecker, president, specialty business for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, an Indianapolis-based health insurance company, says the company’s strategy focuses on offering leading products combined with an industry-leading approach to “whole person healthcare.”