Whether it’s a pandemic, chronic disease, or language barrier—these circumstances and more can negatively affect an individual’s health. Health plans understand vulnerable populations may not receive the continuity of care to prevent them from falling through gaps in care. When gaps are not bridged between care received and care that’s possible, people ranging from low-income to seniors do not receive critical services that contribute to overall health.
Many of these vulnerable people are on Medicaid and Medicare plans, but they certainly exist in commercial populations, too. All populations may face numerous obstacles to better health. So what can we do? Continuous learning of new approaches to engage any audience, no matter what the barrier, to influence positive health outcomes in the future.
Here are 2 key strategies to bridge healthcare member gaps from our newest eBook. Want more? Download The Great Divide: 5 Strategies to Bridge Healthcare Member Gaps in Care for all 5.
Strategy #1—Pointing Out Precise Personalization
The one-size-fits-all days are long gone. Like personalized medicine that delivers better diagnoses, earlier interventions, and customized treatment plans, the art and science of precision is now prevalent in personalized health engagement. Plans can tailor a message based on unique health history, risk factors, gender, and location—all while communicating through their preferred channel at the optimal time. Dynamic targeting can inspire all ages to action to receive the care they need.
Personalization is about breaking the mold and reaching the real needs and challenges of each individual. When you have robust member profiles with differentiating information, the messages get the job done.
Health plans are marrying engagement tools with novel care delivery solutions that can help members accomplish “to-dos” to support their health and well-being. Plans are looking through a new lens with individualized communications that use knowledge of a member’s socioeconomic challenges in addition to addressing health conditions. This multi-channel approach favors solutions that engage members on the benefits of completing a job they need to do—rather than just convincing them that it’s a good thing.
The Great Divide: 5 Strategies to Bridge Healthcare Member Gaps in Care
Learn Icario’s secrets to move any population to take healthier actions and close more gaps in care, no matter how unreachable they seem.
Strategy #2—It’s All About Access
Inaccessibility to care causes gaps in care. Lessening the burden to receive care comes down to location, location, and location. Convenient retail outlets have long partnered with health plans to deliver pharmacy services. They now have expanded to offer health services and screenings, expanding the experience of care in a setting that members already frequent. More than 90% of the U.S. population lives within 5 miles of a retail pharmacy. Proximity empowers consumers because of its ease and familiarity.
Health plans are looking at both work and home as an alternative care delivery location. It’s becoming more conventional that places of reassurance and routine can offer care delivery. Screenings and tests provided in these environments can often be lower in cost, depending on the acuity of health needs in the population.
“Access to care is extremely important to people, but often unfamiliar. Addressing the factors and various barriers around how people can be comfortable accessing the care that they need when they need it is incredibly important from a medical and a social perspective.”
Craig KennedyCEO, Medicaid Health Plans of America, RadioRev S2E2 Interview
We also know healthcare is often inconvenient or inaccessible to low-income patients who may lack paid time off work or transportation to visit the doctor, leading many to rely on the emergency department. We need to think about ways to bring the tools of concierge medicine—telehealth visits, 24/7 access—to these populations as an alternative to high-cost settings of care.
This blog was inspired by Icario’s new eBook, The Great Divide: 5 Strategies to Bridge Healthcare Member Gaps in Care. Want to learn the other 3 strategies—bettering data, prioritizing partnerships, and programming a program? Download the full eBook to dive deeper into these 3 strategies, plus get deeper knowledge on personalization and care access approaches.