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3 Ways Health Information Technology Improves Health Outcomes

It’s no secret that better provider-member relations can often lead to better health outcomes for the member and improved financial performance for the health plan.

Building trust, enhancing communication, and personalizing care through health information technology not only fosters better provider-member relationships but also improves health outcomes and the financial performance of health plans.

When trust is built, communication flows, and care is personalized, patients are willing to follow the care plans put in place more closely. With providers having shorter appointment times to spend with patients inside the exam room, most of this relationship-building needs to be focused outside of that small window of time. 

Health Technology Connects Providers and Patients

Providers can tap into digital health technology at their fingertips!

We are walking (okay, maybe running) into a time when healthcare will be no stranger to digital transformation nationwide.

The latest HIMSS State of Healthcare Report says, “Digital transformation is a top-level priority for health systems, with 99% of U.S.-based health system leaders agreeing that it’s important for their organizations to invest in digital transformation.”

Payers are also in alignment, with 74% of U.S.-based payers reporting that their organizations have a dedicated core team focused on digital transformation.

With so many invested in bringing health technology to the forefront of their patient care, the question is how? 

3 Ways Technology Improves Health Outcomes

1. Leverage Patient Data to Offer Personalized Care

In a time where personalization is becoming the norm in so many areas of our lives, it’s about time that healthcare gets into the game. The 2022 State of Healthcare Report found that “roughly 25% of patients or less completely agree that their provider personalizes care based on their current health, lifestyle and unique health goals.”

With so much room to grow, it’s time to tap into the data available on each patient to create a truly tailored healthcare experience. As a health plan, offer a single location where physicians, members, and the plan can see a comprehensive, action-oriented view of their patients/members.

The EHRs today are not integrated with the health plan, and to improve care, we need to ensure that all three are in the know. Knowing everything they can about a member, such as diagnosed conditions, known allergies, immunization records, and medication history, will help them develop a plan that makes the most sense for each person.

A disease or condition could affect one patient very differently from how it affects another. Because of this, treatment options and care plans cannot be treated as a one-size-fits-all approach if we want to see the healthiest outcomes for each patient. They need to consider a person’s unique health history, behaviors, and preferences.

When personalized care becomes the norm, everyone wins. Patient satisfaction increases, and the potential to improve health outcomes grows exponentially.

2. Provide the Right Tools to Help Members Manage Their Health

Patients often need ongoing support with health management between office appointments. As a health plan, your members will turn to you, and it is important to ensure that both providers and members have access to the resources they need to make this support a reality.

Using digital health technology, patients can improve their health in the comfort of their homes, leading to better clinical outcomes. Giving them access to tailored self-management tools and providing personalized health education materials are two great ways to help members stay the course.

When health plans, healthcare organizations, and providers can come together to implement patient-centric education strategies, members may become more inspired to make changes that better their overall health. A 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association showed that just 45 minutes of patient education can improve chronic disease management

3. Strengthen Communication Through Secure Channels

Regular check-ins with physicians can keep members on track once they leave their appointments. With connected and HIPAA-compliant patient and provider portals, physicians can send secure messages to members about their progress regarding any current care plans or wellness programs. Sending these timely and encouraging messages demonstrates to members that providers are still within reach outside of the office and are dedicated to helping them along their health and wellness journey.

Are you ready to elevate provider-member relations and enhance health outcomes with digital health technology? Discover how mPulse’s provider and member portals can transform your health plan today!

 

This article was originally published on healthtrio.com.

mPulse Recognizes Innovative Healthcare Organizations in the Sixth Annual Activate 2023 Awards

mPulse Mobile recently wrapped up its fifth annual Activate conference with the Activate Awards, which provided yet another celebration of healthcare leadership, innovative program design, and improved health outcomes amidst various health engagement challenges.

The theme of Activate2022, The Power of Behavioral Science to Drive Health Action, was reflected throughout the conference with captivating speaker sessions and expert panel discussions. Networking inspired exciting conversation around innovative technology, behavior change design, and consumer experience, and the Activate Awards surely brought those conversations full circle.

The awards help illuminate health plans, health systems, health service providers, PBMs and other types of healthcare organizations that utilized new strategies or unique tools to activate their consumer populations. The companies highlighted each year typically face barriers with engaging a certain population or driving specific health actions, so they search for innovative solutions to tackle those challenges. 

For example, in 2019, CountyCare saw drastic rates of members losing Medicaid coverage, so the managed care organization (MCO) implemented automated text dialogues and saw their Redetermination rates improve by 3.3 percentage points in just one month, subsequently running away with the Most Improved Consumer Experience award. Last year, CareSource incorporated secure surveys, SMS, and streaming video to significantly impact their hard-to-reach members – they won 2021’s Best Use of Conversational A.I.  

The same story is true for this year’s winners.   

The remaining 3 award categories are Achieving Health Equity, Most Innovative Solution and Most Significant Outcome. Like the teamwork and critical thinking generated from breakout workshops and Q&A during the conference, the awards are a celebration of two companies that partnered together to overcome consumer barriers or gaps in care by building uniquely tailored engagement programs. 

Here are the winners of the 2022 Activate Awards: 

Achieving Health Equity

 
Program Goal
Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

AltaMed Health Services is one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in the United States and provides a range of health services to Latino, multi-ethnic and underserved communities in Southern California. After seeing a steep drop in colorectal cancer screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the health center sought a solution that could help patients overcome barriers like language and lack of awareness of services. 

AltaMed partnered with mPulse to deliver multi-lingual, educational health content to patients using mobile fotonovelas tailored to both males and females who had not completed a screening. Patients received and digested vital communication about getting screened, where to find the nearest screening site, and more through culturally sensitive stories delivered in a familiar format.  

A randomized control study found that 63% of patients who responded to the fotonovelas either liked or loved it, and 39% reported it positively impacted their willingness to act. By educating patients with curated content, AltaMed closed a key screening gap, lifted health literacy and perhaps most importantly – made significant progress toward health equity.

Notable Outcome
Patients that viewed the fotonovelas (19%) were more likely to submit a sample for cancer screening than patients in a control group (11%)

Best Use of Conversational A.I.

 
A Technology-Enabled Health Services Company
 
 
Program Goal 
Promote smoking cessation among teen vapers 

This leading health services organization employs over 210,000 employees globally and utilizes technology-enabled solutions to promote consumer wellness and population health. A major public health problem facing young adults, particularly teens, across the U.S. is the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping. The company sought to promote smoking cessation among teen vapers, a cohort still widely understudied, by implementing intelligent conversational solutions and educational content.

They collaborated with mPulse to build a personalized SMS program, lasting 4-6 months, that leveraged Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to deliver automated, interactive text dialogues to a targeted teen population. Individuals were also provided custom-built streaming health videos that offered tips on quitting and even an option to connect with an SMS coach. 

The use of NLU enabled the delivery of automated messaging based on text responses, which helped the organization direct each individual to the appropriate resource. The program yielded an 85% engagement rate, and ultimately 69% of participating teens completed the program. The key result, that 73% of teens in the program set a date to quit vaping, demonstrates the value in utilizing automated text conversations and on-demand content to promote smoking cessation in vulnerable teens.

Notable Outcome 
73% of participating teens set a quit date
 
 

Check out a new streaming health course for smoking cessation. »

 

Most Improved Consumer Experience

 
CalOptima Health
 
 
Program Goal 
Increase Awareness of SNAP benefits (CalFresh)

CalOptima Health is a County Organized Health System that provides health insurance coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities. As Orange County’s largest health plan, the organization includes a network of over 10,000 primary care doctors and serves over 900,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The health system looked to address a gap they had identified with low-income families enrolling in the state’s food assistance program, CalFresh, federally known as SNAP.

CalOptima and mPulse partnered to launch a two-way texting campaign, which utilized interactive SMS powered by NLU and tailored to 7 different languages. The health plan addressed language barriers by delivering vital information about CalFresh’s food security benefits to underserved families and Medi-Cal members in their preferred language.  

Through automated text workflows, members could respond in their native language with answers like: “I already have CalFresh” or “I want to apply.” The program has continued to expand, having delivered over 5 million messages in 2022 already. Communicating with members according to their preferences about important CalFresh benefits helped CalOptima both improve consumer experience and reduce food insecurity for an at-risk population.  

 
Notable Outcome 
Over 5 million messages delivered to members in 2022 about CalFresh benefits

Like what you’re reading? Join us next year for Activate2023! Secure your spot now. »

Most Innovative Solution

 
 
Program Goal 
Drive members to schedule a diabetic eye exam

Humana is one of the five largest health plans in the country according to member enrollment and has been partnered with mPulse for over 10 years. With more than 20 million members, including over 5 million Medicare members, the plan looked to close a gap with their members scheduling the annual diabetic eye exam.

The plan worked with mPulse to launch an SMS texting campaign to increase awareness around the importance of the eye exam and to drive members to schedule an exam. The program featured A/B testing, in which one half of members was provided a 30-second streaming health video in the initial message while the other half received only text.  

The educational video enabled a learning experience that was easily accessible and familiar, concluding with a URL for members to learn more about scheduling the eye exam. Humana saw a remarkable 270% increase in clicks to schedule an exam when outreach included the streaming video. The test demonstrates that using streaming health content alongside two-way conversational solutions can significantly help activate hard-to-reach members with diabetes.

Notable Outcome 
270% increase in clicks to schedule a diabetic eye exam when outreach included 30-second streaming video

Most Significant Outcome (tie)

 
A Technology-Enabled Pharmacy Services Company
 
 
Program Goal 
Improve member experience and pharmacy engagement

The leading PBM and pharmacy services company is nationally recognized and fills over 1 billion prescriptions annually for millions of healthcare consumers across the country. With a rapidly growing population, the healthcare leader sought a solution to improve pharmacy patient engagement by utilizing a new communication channel for its home delivery pharmacy and prior authorization programs. 

The pharmacy leader partnered with mPulse to roll out more than 50 outbound-dialer Interactive Voice Response (IVR) campaigns. The IVR messages notified members about prior authorization approvals/denials, refill reminders, shipping details and doctor responses.  

Ultimately, over 5.8 million IVR records were exchanged and the outbound dialer launched over 5.1 million total calls. By offering a new avenue for members to complete a healthy action like ordering medications, the pharmacy enterprise initiated meaningful conversations to help enhance member experience, improve self-service capabilities, and close pharmacy engagement gaps.

Notable Outcome 
Reached over 2.2 million members with 55,000+ members giving SMS consent

Most Significant Outcome (tie)

 
 
Program Goal 
Improve refill adherence for HIV patients 

MetroPlus Health Plan is a subsidiary of NYC Health & Hospitals, the largest municipal health system in the country. The insurance organization serves a diverse group of over 600,000 New York residents across Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare, D-SNP, MLTC and more plan types. A big challenge for the plan was getting HIV patients to refill medications that are pivotal to managing their condition and avoiding complications.

MetroPlus partnered with mPulse to educate the vulnerable population through interactive text messaging about the importance of medication adherence and reducing their  unmedicated days. Texts were delivered one week apart and provided members with vital resources like phone numbers of a pharmacy or a member of the HIV care team.

The plan measured results based on whether or not a patient completed a refill within 7 days of initial outreach. The program yielded a 69% improvement in medication refills when SMS text reminders were deployed, indicating that text nudges inspire self-efficacy and action within this vulnerable population. Through targeted, mobile intervention, MetroPlus helped positively impact medication adherence for over 1,000 patients living with HIV.

Notable Outcome 
69% improvement in medication refills with mPulse text reminders

Health Challenges in 2023

The 6 winners of this year’s Activate Awards showed that even when a new barrier is identified with engaging a population, healthcare organizations must adapt to adhere to their consumers’ needs. Whether utilizing a new communication channel, adding streaming video or incorporating multiple languages, the awards demonstrate that providing healthcare consumers with tailored, learning experiences can significantly impact how they engage with a program. 

As the needs and preferences of healthcare consumers continue to evolve, so too should the capabilities of the healthcare organizations that serve them. Next year’s awards ceremony will surely exhibit a new string of engagement challenges with complex populations and niche use cases – let’s see what type of healthcare innovation surfaces in 2023! 

The Importance of Annual Wellness Visits for Providers, Payers, & Patients

Why The Annual Wellness Visit is So Important

The Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) is an incredibly effective tool for consumer health management and is key to keeping people healthy now and in the future. This valuable time spent between provider and patient gives space to check in on progress, discuss health issues, and create a care plan–not to mention it allows for the opportunity to order conduct needed screenings and preventive care, making it an easy way to close multiple gaps in care at once.

Research has shown that establishing a stronger relationship between provider and patient can positively impact health. There are also multiple indirect benefits to plans, providers, and patients, such as reduced network leakage and education on proper ER and urgent care use.

Annual Well Visit Statistics: Underutilized, Underestimated

Unfortunately, AWVs are surprisingly underutilized. Only 25% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries receive an AWV (even though 45% of all Medicare beneficiaries have four or more chronic conditions). Many hard-to-reach populations within Medicaid and Medicare are not taking the time to schedule and attend their AWV, and many patients do not understand the importance of this visit at all.

But it is important–to both the patient and healthcare organizations. Beyond the benefit of catching and controlling health issues, the AWV is a critical component of Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) recapturing.

In fact, an 85% AWV completion rate can result in an 80% or higher HCC recapture rate. This can mean a significant power over reimbursement dollars for plans and providers.

Learn more about improving HCC Recapturing through cutting-edge engagement strategy by watching our on-demand webinar »

Example Scenario

Our 75-year-old male patient can have two different outcomes determined by his AWV. With proper coding of his full health status in the second scenario, you see a significant increase in reimbursement–over $5,000 annually for this one patient. If you multiply that by over 500 patients, you will see an increase of $2.5 million annually (or a loss if you neglect to code correctly).

But what happens if this patient never schedules his visit or if his visit isn’t coded correctly? You’re leaving good money on the table.

Patient Demographics HCC (Hierarchical Condition Category) Risk Adjustment Factor
75-Year-Old Male   0.428
E11.41 Type 2 Diabetes mellitus w/diabetic mono neuropathy HCC18 Diabetes w/chronic complications 0.625
Total RAF   1.053
Payment Per Month   $684.45
Payment Per Year   $8,213.4

Example scenario: If this patient never schedules his visit or if his visit isn’t coded correctly. Good money is left on the table.

Patient Demographics HCC (Hierarchical Condition Category) Risk Adjustment Factor
75-Year-Old Male   0.428
E11.41 Type 2 Diabetes mellitus w/diabetic mono neuropathy HCC18 Diabetes w/chronic complications 0.625
K50.00 Crohn’s disease of small intestine w/o complications HCC35 Inflammatory bowel disease 0.279
M05.60 Rheumatoid arthritis of unspecified site w/ involvement of other organs and systems HCC40 Rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory connective tissue disease 0.423
Total RAF   1.755
Payment Per Month   $1,140.75
Payment Per Year   $13,689
Example scenario: With proper coding of this patient’s full health status, you see a significant increase in reimbursement.

Using Technology to Unleash the Power of Annual Wellness Visits

Suppose your goal is to increase the number of members or patients you have going in for their AWV and to recapture their HCC codes properly. In that case, it’s critical to have effective outreach to educate, motivate, and drive behavior change in those hardest to reach–a challenging but attainable goal.

Behavioral Science

One of the most important tools available to increase motivation and inspire behavior change is your approach to the conversation. With behavioral science, we take what we know about human behavior and tendencies and use that knowledge to not only predict the response to our outreach but to sway people toward one action or another.

When we reach out to members and patients regarding AWVs, saying, “Hi, Susie. You’re due for your no-cost annual wellness visit,” has a measurable impact on response.

In this message, we employ the Endowment Effect, a behavioral science principle that assigns higher value to objects and tasks when consumers feel a sense of ownership and personalization. By telling Susie it’s her no-cost visit, we are making it more likely she will take action.

AI Technology

Let’s go beyond the planned messages, though. Not everything can be scripted when you start a real conversation with a real person. With Conversational AI and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), plans and providers can communicate with patients in a personalized, conversational, and real way.

Instead of one-way interactions where the healthcare organization is talking at the patient, AI and NLU broaden out your abilities into a fully-fledged two-way conversation where the patient can freely respond the way they would naturally speak, and the system can understand and carry the conversation naturally in an almost human-like manner.

If a plan is reaching out to encourage an AWV and the member says, “I don’t have a doctor,” NLU can easily recognize that response and follow up with a list of in-network doctors near the patient.

Health Equity

This technology and ability for two-way interaction opens the experience to so many more possibilities–an important one being barrier analysis.

With the ability of NLU to interpret barriers to access (such as not having access to a doctor or not having transportation to the appointment) and uncover possible social determinants of health (SDoH), the healthcare organization gains more information about the circumstances of each individual.

With AI and NLU capabilities, the healthcare organization can respond accordingly with resources, education, and support to break down the barriers tied to inequity and provide a more accessible healthcare experience.

mPulse Mobile's two-way SMS technology identifies barriers and effortlessly guides patients to schedule their Annual Wellness Visit
Revolutionizing Patient Outreach: mPulse Mobile’s two-way SMS technology identifies barriers and effortlessly guides patients to schedule their Annual Wellness Visit. Transforming care, one text at a time.

Instructional Strategy

One barrier to health equity that we often encounter is the issue of health literacy. Many health consumers need help understanding what an AWV consists of, why it’s important, or how to find a doctor to obtain one. This is where education becomes an essential part of any outreach strategy.

The video below features Dr. Archelle Georgiou, a leading physician, healthcare executive, and author, explaining why annual wellness visits are critical to preventing chronic disease and keeping a person healthy.

Including this short three-minute video can answer many questions the patient may not know they have, raise their health literacy, and increase their motivation to schedule.

Putting it All Together

These individual strategies ultimately come together to form one highly effective solution aimed at increasing the number of members and patients who schedule and attend their AWV.

mPulse Mobile’s Annual Wellness Visit solution incorporates these and can effectively drive behavior change, even among unengaged and hard-to-reach populations. With AI technology to uncover and address barriers, an omnichannel outreach method to ensure you’re reaching every member possible (no matter how hard to reach), and both behavioral science and streaming health content to inspire self-efficacy and build knowledge, healthcare organizations deploying this solution have seen up to a 61% visit rate for targeted members living near in-network clients.

mPulse Mobile's optimized patient journey ensures a seamless, informed, and empowered healthcare experience
Experience the Transformation: mPulse Mobile’s optimized patient journey ensures a seamless, informed, and empowered healthcare experience. Every step, reimagined for you.

And though this can have an impressive impact on the bottom line of healthcare organizations, it also significantly and directly impacts people’s lives and health.

The ability to catch early signs of disease and the chance to educate someone about their health and lifestyle makes the AWV one of the more powerful tools in the healthcare industry’s arsenal–so let’s make sure we are using it to its full potential.

Join 200+ leading healthcare organizations leveraging our cutting-edge solutions to improve Annual Well Visits attendance and ensure optimal health engagement through our digital health solutions. Explore how mPulse Mobile can transform AWV experiences, drive behavior change, and elevate health outcomes for your members.

How to Overcome Flu Vaccination Inequities This Flu Season

The stark reality of flu vaccines is that they save millions from illness and death, yet there remains a significant inequality in vaccine distribution, particularly affecting certain demographics. During the 2022-23 flu season, while 173.37 million Americans were vaccinated, saving nearly $2.4 billion in healthcare costs, a concerning 46% of eligible Americans remained unvaccinated. 

Solving vaccine inequity requires a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health (SDoH), such as age, race, and income, which play a pivotal role in these disparities. Notably, vaccination rates are considerably lower among Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaskan Native adults, with hospitalization rates significantly higher among Black adults. Furthermore, adults with lower incomes and those in the 18-49 age group are less likely to receive the flu vaccine.

Identifying and addressing the root causes of these inequities is crucial for improving vaccination rates and ensuring equitable health outcomes for all in the upcoming 2023-24 flu season.

Understanding why these inequities exist is essential when designing programs to help overcome them.

Overcoming inequality in vaccine distribution through inclusive flu outreach

Addressing vaccine inequity requires tailored strategies that specifically target the underlying causes of these disparities. The CDC highlights a lack of accessibility, misinformation, and widespread distrust in the medical system as primary reasons for flu vaccine inequities. Crafting programs that focus on overcoming these barriers is crucial to enhancing flu vaccination rates and bridging the gap in inequality in vaccine distribution.

By implementing such targeted approaches, we can work towards ensuring equitable healthcare access for all member populations.

How to address and solve vaccine inequity through enhanced accessibility

Overcoming vaccine inequity necessitates addressing accessibility challenges that disproportionately affect disadvantaged groups. Many individuals face barriers such as unreliable transportation, disabilities, limited internet access, inflexible work schedules, and language or translation issues, making vaccination access difficult. These systemic issues often fail to accommodate all members’ diverse needs and preferences, creating an unequal landscape in vaccine distribution.

Fortunately, health plans have a significant opportunity to address these challenges. By implementing programs focusing on accessibility, they can identify individual barriers and provide customized resources to facilitate access. This requires an in-depth understanding of the target audience’s specific needs.

At mPulse, we utilize internal and external data to gain comprehensive insights into member needs, allowing health plans to create highly relevant digital touchpoints. Health plans can effectively identify and address individual barriers by engaging with members through their preferred communication channels, such as SMS, email, or IVR. The right message, delivered through the right channel, in the appropriate language, and accompanied by suitable resources, is key to meeting members where they are and improving flu vaccination rates.

Learn more about how to solve vaccine inequity and enhance vaccination rates by watching our on-demand webinar, “Double Flu Vaccination Rates for Your Health Population.”

Combating vaccine inequity with effective communication strategies

In the digital age, where misinformation and knowledge gaps about vaccines are prevalent, especially post-pandemic, it’s crucial to tackle vaccine inequity by providing trustworthy and pertinent vaccine information. Misconceptions about vaccinations, particularly the flu vaccine, have increased, underscoring the need for reliable information sources.

At mPulse, we aim to solve vaccine inequity by adapting the engaging formats of popular social media platforms. Our approach involves creating short-form content that is informative, educational, entertaining, and easy to consume. We focus on making content frictionless and engaging while ensuring it’s accessible to a broader audience. This includes featuring relatable characters representing diverse populations and offering multilingual options, which are vital to resonating with broader member groups and building credibility.

By sharing health content through each member’s preferred communication channels, we ensure they efficiently receive vital vaccine information. This method is particularly effective in addressing misinformation and bridging knowledge gaps, thereby playing a significant role in how to solve vaccine inequity. To see an example of how we bring this to life, view another fotonovela included in the mPulse Mobile Flu Vaccination Solution.

Building Trust to Address Vaccine Inequity

Addressing distrust in the medical system, often rooted in a history of structural racism and discrimination, is crucial in solving vaccine inequity. While health plans represent only one component of this complex issue, establishing trust with their members is vital. Utilizing digital trends for inspiration can significantly aid health plans in scaling their efforts effectively.

Creating multiple positive and meaningful touchpoints over time is key to developing and maintaining strong member relationships. At mPulse, we collaborate with health plans to provide empathetic messaging that conveys relevant and accessible information in each member’s preferred language and through the most appropriate channel. This approach helps ensure members feel supported and can rely on their health plan for essential care and resources, fostering greater trust and empowerment.

Simply notifying members about their due flu vaccines can be perceived as intrusive. Instead, our approach incorporates sensitive, culturally relevant messaging that leverages behavioral science techniques, cinematic educational content, and tailored resources. This strategy demonstrates an understanding of the member’s unique needs and genuine concern for their health.

When members feel that their health plan values and understands them, they are more likely to trust the plan and engage in healthier behaviors, thereby contributing to solving vaccine inequity.

Leveraging technology to overcome health disparities and boost flu vaccination rates

Technology is imperative in helping overcome health disparities and barriers to flu vaccinations. By leveraging innovative digital trends designed to serve vulnerable populations, health plans can begin broadening accessibility, educating and empowering members, and building trust at scale to improve vaccination rates and inspire healthier outcomes for the people they serve.

mPulse Mobile designs solutions that identify and overcome barriers to action. Our behavior change model incorporates health equity, behavioral science, and instructional strategy to deliver best-in-class outcomes.

Contact us to learn more about how our flu vaccination solution can help overcome vaccine hesitancy for your members.

Celebrating Achievement in Health Equity and Technology Innovation at the Activate Awards

mPulse Mobile recently wrapped up its fifth annual Activate conference with the Activate Awards, which provided yet another celebration of healthcare leadership, innovative program design, and improved health outcomes amidst various health engagement challenges.

The theme of Activate2022, The Power of Behavioral Science to Drive Health Action, was reflected throughout the conference with captivating speaker sessions and expert panel discussions. Networking inspired exciting conversation around innovative technology, behavior change design, and consumer experience, and the Activate Awards surely brought those conversations full circle.

The awards help illuminate health plans, health systems, health service providers, PBMs and other types of healthcare organizations that utilized new strategies or unique tools to activate their consumer populations. The companies highlighted each year typically face barriers with engaging a certain population or driving specific health actions, so they search for innovative solutions to tackle those challenges. 

For example, in 2019, CountyCare saw drastic rates of members losing Medicaid coverage, so the managed care organization (MCO) implemented automated text dialogues and saw their Redetermination rates improve by 3.3 percentage points in just one month, subsequently running away with the Most Improved Consumer Experience award. Last year, CareSource incorporated secure surveys, SMS, and streaming video to significantly impact their hard-to-reach members – they won 2021’s Best Use of Conversational A.I.  

The same story is true for this year’s winners.   

The remaining 3 award categories are Achieving Health Equity, Most Innovative Solution and Most Significant Outcome. Like the teamwork and critical thinking generated from breakout workshops and Q&A during the conference, the awards are a celebration of two companies that partnered together to overcome consumer barriers or gaps in care by building uniquely tailored engagement programs. 

Here are the winners of the 2022 Activate Awards: 

Achieving Health Equity

 
Program Goal
Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

AltaMed Health Services is one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in the United States and provides a range of health services to Latino, multi-ethnic and underserved communities in Southern California. After seeing a steep drop in colorectal cancer screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the health center sought a solution that could help patients overcome barriers like language and lack of awareness of services. 

AltaMed partnered with mPulse to deliver multi-lingual, educational health content to patients using mobile fotonovelas tailored to both males and females who had not completed a screening. Patients received and digested vital communication about getting screened, where to find the nearest screening site, and more through culturally sensitive stories delivered in a familiar format.  

A randomized control study found that 63% of patients who responded to the fotonovelas either liked or loved it, and 39% reported it positively impacted their willingness to act. By educating patients with curated content, AltaMed closed a key screening gap, lifted health literacy and perhaps most importantly – made significant progress toward health equity.

Notable Outcome
Patients that viewed the fotonovelas (19%) were more likely to submit a sample for cancer screening than patients in a control group (11%)

Best Use of Conversational A.I.

 
A Technology-Enabled Health Services Company
 
 
Program Goal 
Promote smoking cessation among teen vapers 

This leading health services organization employs over 210,000 employees globally and utilizes technology-enabled solutions to promote consumer wellness and population health. A major public health problem facing young adults, particularly teens, across the U.S. is the use of e-cigarettes, or vaping. The company sought to promote smoking cessation among teen vapers, a cohort still widely understudied, by implementing intelligent conversational solutions and educational content.

They collaborated with mPulse to build a personalized SMS program, lasting 4-6 months, that leveraged Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to deliver automated, interactive text dialogues to a targeted teen population. Individuals were also provided custom-built streaming health videos that offered tips on quitting and even an option to connect with an SMS coach. 

The use of NLU enabled the delivery of automated messaging based on text responses, which helped the organization direct each individual to the appropriate resource. The program yielded an 85% engagement rate, and ultimately 69% of participating teens completed the program. The key result, that 73% of teens in the program set a date to quit vaping, demonstrates the value in utilizing automated text conversations and on-demand content to promote smoking cessation in vulnerable teens.

Notable Outcome 
73% of participating teens set a quit date
 
 

Check out a new streaming health course for smoking cessation. »

 

Most Improved Consumer Experience

 
CalOptima Health
 
 
Program Goal 
Increase Awareness of SNAP benefits (CalFresh)

CalOptima Health is a County Organized Health System that provides health insurance coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities. As Orange County’s largest health plan, the organization includes a network of over 10,000 primary care doctors and serves over 900,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The health system looked to address a gap they had identified with low-income families enrolling in the state’s food assistance program, CalFresh, federally known as SNAP.

CalOptima and mPulse partnered to launch a two-way texting campaign, which utilized interactive SMS powered by NLU and tailored to 7 different languages. The health plan addressed language barriers by delivering vital information about CalFresh’s food security benefits to underserved families and Medi-Cal members in their preferred language.  

Through automated text workflows, members could respond in their native language with answers like: “I already have CalFresh” or “I want to apply.” The program has continued to expand, having delivered over 5 million messages in 2022 already. Communicating with members according to their preferences about important CalFresh benefits helped CalOptima both improve consumer experience and reduce food insecurity for an at-risk population.  

 
Notable Outcome 
Over 5 million messages delivered to members in 2022 about CalFresh benefits

Like what you’re reading? Join us next year for Activate2023! Secure your spot now. »

Most Innovative Solution

 
 
Program Goal 
Drive members to schedule a diabetic eye exam

Humana is one of the five largest health plans in the country according to member enrollment and has been partnered with mPulse for over 10 years. With more than 20 million members, including over 5 million Medicare members, the plan looked to close a gap with their members scheduling the annual diabetic eye exam.

The plan worked with mPulse to launch an SMS texting campaign to increase awareness around the importance of the eye exam and to drive members to schedule an exam. The program featured A/B testing, in which one half of members was provided a 30-second streaming health video in the initial message while the other half received only text.  

The educational video enabled a learning experience that was easily accessible and familiar, concluding with a URL for members to learn more about scheduling the eye exam. Humana saw a remarkable 270% increase in clicks to schedule an exam when outreach included the streaming video. The test demonstrates that using streaming health content alongside two-way conversational solutions can significantly help activate hard-to-reach members with diabetes.

Notable Outcome 
270% increase in clicks to schedule a diabetic eye exam when outreach included 30-second streaming video

Most Significant Outcome (tie)

 
A Technology-Enabled Pharmacy Services Company
 
 
Program Goal 
Improve member experience and pharmacy engagement

The leading PBM and pharmacy services company is nationally recognized and fills over 1 billion prescriptions annually for millions of healthcare consumers across the country. With a rapidly growing population, the healthcare leader sought a solution to improve pharmacy patient engagement by utilizing a new communication channel for its home delivery pharmacy and prior authorization programs. 

The pharmacy leader partnered with mPulse to roll out more than 50 outbound-dialer Interactive Voice Response (IVR) campaigns. The IVR messages notified members about prior authorization approvals/denials, refill reminders, shipping details and doctor responses.  

Ultimately, over 5.8 million IVR records were exchanged and the outbound dialer launched over 5.1 million total calls. By offering a new avenue for members to complete a healthy action like ordering medications, the pharmacy enterprise initiated meaningful conversations to help enhance member experience, improve self-service capabilities, and close pharmacy engagement gaps.

Notable Outcome 
Reached over 2.2 million members with 55,000+ members giving SMS consent

Most Significant Outcome (tie)

 
 
Program Goal 
Improve refill adherence for HIV patients 

MetroPlus Health Plan is a subsidiary of NYC Health & Hospitals, the largest municipal health system in the country. The insurance organization serves a diverse group of over 600,000 New York residents across Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare, D-SNP, MLTC and more plan types. A big challenge for the plan was getting HIV patients to refill medications that are pivotal to managing their condition and avoiding complications.

MetroPlus partnered with mPulse to educate the vulnerable population through interactive text messaging about the importance of medication adherence and reducing their  unmedicated days. Texts were delivered one week apart and provided members with vital resources like phone numbers of a pharmacy or a member of the HIV care team.

The plan measured results based on whether or not a patient completed a refill within 7 days of initial outreach. The program yielded a 69% improvement in medication refills when SMS text reminders were deployed, indicating that text nudges inspire self-efficacy and action within this vulnerable population. Through targeted, mobile intervention, MetroPlus helped positively impact medication adherence for over 1,000 patients living with HIV.

Notable Outcome 
69% improvement in medication refills with mPulse text reminders

Health Challenges in 2023

The 6 winners of this year’s Activate Awards showed that even when a new barrier is identified with engaging a population, healthcare organizations must adapt to adhere to their consumers’ needs. Whether utilizing a new communication channel, adding streaming video or incorporating multiple languages, the awards demonstrate that providing healthcare consumers with tailored, learning experiences can significantly impact how they engage with a program. 

As the needs and preferences of healthcare consumers continue to evolve, so too should the capabilities of the healthcare organizations that serve them. Next year’s awards ceremony will surely exhibit a new string of engagement challenges with complex populations and niche use cases – let’s see what type of healthcare innovation surfaces in 2023! 

The State of Health Disengagement

How do we unlock digital to get more people enrolled, lower costs to serve, and improve health outcomes at scale?

That question sums up a major challenge and business imperative to lift programs and people. To frame up that challenge, three key gaps must be considered for meaningful innovation:

The Health Programs Gap

There’s no shortage of solutions or investment focused on the problem. By 2027, the global corporate health and wellness market is expected to exceed $100 billion.

From health coaches to wellness programs, EAPs to DPPs, 401k to HSA, there’s a lot of shorthand around programs that are too often short on utilization.

By the Numbers

At a time when nearly half of U.S. adults report struggles with mental health or substance abuse, only 5% of employees reach out to their EAP. Plus, 6 in 10 are unaware of wellness programs that offer incentives just to engage.

Meanwhile, better convenience and reduced risk of illness are driving more health consumers to telemedicine for mental health and routine care than ever before.

Bottom Line

You likely have many programs in place to support the rising need for total-person care. The opportunity is now to connect your offerings and streamline the digital path to serving the right ones based on need.

By aligning your human services alongside your digital experience journey, you can start shifting from push-based efforts across disconnected programs to a pull-based model that assesses and adapts to the individual’s needs.

The Health Literacy Gap

Patty Starr at Health Action Council sums it up: “Health literacy is the key to lowering healthcare costs and better education is the key to health literacy.”

By the Numbers

As just a sample of an increasingly global problem, 88% of U.S. adults lack health literacy skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease or other illness. 70% of healthcare costs come from lifestyle choices, and people with lower health literacy report worse outcomes.

Bottom Line

Back up. Nearly 9 in 10 adults lack health literacy? That’s a huge number. And part of the problem is that people don’t know their numbers, from reading nutrition labels and measuring medications to understanding lifestyle factors and personal health history.

So if education drives lifestyle choices and choices drive costs, shouldn’t we invest in better education? Yes. But that’s not the problem. From Dr. Google to a WebMD article (designed to sell ads) to a pamphlet to take home, most health “education” is built to inform not to teach.

We know from adult learning theory that simply telling someone to read, watch or listen is not enough. These are inherently passive ways to impart information. If we want real learning and change to occur, we need to design learning experiences that give us ways to reflect, process and apply what we’re learning.

Across need state or wellbeing dimension, a properly designed digital learning experience can personalize to the individual’s needs and guide them to the right programs. In doing so, it can help us solve the health program gap and the health literacy gap at the same time.

The Latent Health Gap

When we look at health programs and services offered today, we see a spectrum from prevention to intervention.

On one side, wellness and benefits offerings are trying to expand beyond hand raisers to help more people quit smoking, move more, or talk to a health expert to start us down a healthier path.

On the intervention side, disease management, care coordination and a host of point solutions are trying to reach people before major issues occur.

That movement to the middle is by no mistake. The vast majority of people show up in the middle. Except, they don’t show up. That’s the problem.

So now that we’ve covered key gaps behind health disengagement, how can we align with evolving consumer behaviors to lift engagement at scale?

Keep Reading: The Future of Health Literacy

7 Ways to Use Streaming Content in Your Health Communication, Part 2

In part 1 of this blog series, we looked at the power of Fotonovelas, Interactive Content, and Animations to drive action in health consumers. All this content does the same thing: it goes beyond just telling a member or patient that taking an action is important. It teaches someone why it’s important and what can be gained or lost by action or inaction.

There are more types of content that can be used to solve some pervasive health challenges, though. In this post, we’ll tackle four of the top performing content types that can be used to do this: Courses, Expert Led Lessons, Stories, and Self-Assessments.

Courses to Manage Anxiety and Depression

The World Health Organization estimates lost production as the result of anxiety and depression costs the global economy over $1 trillion every year.  And, of course, it isn’t just a productivity issue. Mood disorders make it harder for people to stick with treatment plans, manage chronic conditions, and keep doctor appointments, which can have an overall impact on health and cost of healthcare treatment in the long term.

This makes it an important topic for plans and providers to discuss with their health consumers. Our 5-part course, Living with Anxiety and Depression, taught by author and mindfulness guru, Elisha Goldstein, PhD, teaches self-care strategies for navigating the negativity loop that can serve to keep many of us stuck in negative patterns and behaviors making it a truly powerful learning experience. Healthcare organizations can license the content to provide it any number of ways, including in their own branded content portal.

And anxiety doesn’t just affect adults. According to the CDC, approximately one out of every 10 kids (ages 3-17) have a confirmed anxiety diagnosis. The Parenting Kids with Anxiety course led taught by child psychologist and author, Renee Jain, contains five lessons focused on helping parents help their children transform their feelings of anxiety so they can all find calm, courage, and resilience.

Expert Led Lessons to Empower Consumers

Patients can often feel powerless when they engage in the healthcare system. They leave appointments confused. They have care plans they don’t want or know how to follow. They might not know how to advocate for themselves.

To address this and help them take charge of their care, healthcare organizations can provide expert-led video lessons from trusted experts to educate their members and patients on how to take control of their health. For example, Preparing for a Diagnostic Conversation features Dr. Archelle Georgiou who teaches members how to ensure every health decision is their decision, they leave every interaction feeling heard, and that the decisions made reflect their values and priorities.

These lessons can be embedded online, delivered via SMS messaging, or available on a streaming platform. Giving access to content led by reputable and trusted professionals is the first step to ensuring your members and patients take ownership of their healthcare.

Interactive Stories Encourage Diabetes Eye Exams

Started by Snapchat and copied by Facebook and Instagram, stories are now everywhere. Optimized for mobile delivery, they are auto-advancing snips of videos and images which healthcare plans and providers can take and use on social media as another channel to communicate with their populations or repurpose them for SMS delivered solutions. Our diabetes eye exam story below was promoted to at risk populations and is a great example of how the use of stories can educate.

A quick eye exam can detect early signs of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Because of that, getting members to their eye doctor every year is a priority. To help members really understand why doing so matters to them, we could simply send a text or an email telling them it’s that time, and that might work.

We want to help members really connect to the reality of life with eye disease, though, so to take it a step further and ensure the member or patient really understands the reason behind these exams, you can embedd this video you’re your communication program, and it includes a powerful, easy to follow call-to-action.

Self-Assessment to Determine a Need for Preventive Care Screenings

Increasing regular health screenings is an important goal for every health plan. We have an entire library of assets to help members understand when, why, and how to get the most common health screenings (like mammograms, colonoscopies, eye exams, and more).

Below is an example of a simple interactive self-assessment we provide to help members identify which health screenings are most appropriate for them based on what they tell us. Plans may already know what screenings the member is due for, but by providing this activity, it helps the member connect how their personal characteristics connect to their screening recommendations. Once the member receives their recommendations, we then connect them to additional content to help them better understand how the screening works and what their options may be.

The Bottom Line

Health content in the past has largely been underwhelming where pamphlets, brochures, and information documents were the norm. In today’s environment of social media, streaming content, and digital-first experiences, that won’t work. Healthcare organizations have a wide-open world of rich media experiences they can take and adapt for health education, and it’s imperative they do so! Consumers are not impressed with static (and oftentimes boring) content when the rest of their life is starkly different from that.

These are the top 7 content experiences we’ve seen work, but there are more than just these at healthcare’s disposal. Reach out to us to see what else is available for health outreach!

6 Innovations in Streaming Health Content that Improve Member Experience

The logic behind streaming health content is simple. Just telling someone that it’s time to get a mammogram or renew a prescription isn’t always enough to get them to do it. There are numerous barriers to consider: social determinates of health (SDOH) factors, health beliefs, the health literacy gap, apathy, and more. Sending a well-timed, well-written text message can sometimes do the job, but often we need to go further and help the health consumer understand why taking an action matters and how they are benefiting from it. Or we simply need to get their attention for long enough to even hear us out.  

Streaming health education, when thoughtfully integrated into engagement solutions, can achieve all of these things. It infuses current and innovative types of content into member outreach in new ways. The same way we have seen the biggest brands integrate streaming content into the consumer experience, healthcare can mirror and change the way they interact with their populations and, more importantly, change the way their populations interact with them.  

6 Innovative Best Practices in Streaming Health Content

 

Innovation 1: Types of Content

The most innovative aspect of content in the last few years just may be the format it’s delivered in. Overall, there are four major content categories we’ve seen work well when brought into healthcare outreach. 

Gifs

A lot can be said with a well-timed gif, and using humor to capture attention, as gifs usually do, are an effective way to focus the member on a very real issue, such as fall safety in our example above. 

Self-Produced Videos

Self-produced videos are often short, recorded in selfie mode, and have less focus on production value. These qualities make them more personal, fun, and more able to capture attention and connect the creator with the audience.  

Licensable Streaming Content

Spotify, YouTube, Netflix, and more! Streaming is the main delivery method for content today and used by a huge amount of the population. With the option of licensable libraries of streaming health education content now on the market, healthcare organizations can enter the game and have a better chance of meeting members where they are and in the ways they already live their lives. 

Stories

Started by Snapchat and copied by Facebook and Instagram, stories are now everywhere. Healthcare can take stories and use social media as another channel to communicate with their populations or repurpose them for SMS delivered solutions. 

Innovation 2: Making the Ask 

Now that you have your content format ready to go, you’ll want clear, robust calls to action embedded within the streaming health experience, which is our second innovative best practice. Think about it this way: all the content delivered quickly falls short if you aren’t ultimately making the ask. 

When crafting your call to action, make sure it is not only closely tied to the content being delivered but it is also specifically based on that recipient’s needs.  

Interested in learning more? Access the guide to get the full version of this content » 

Innovation 3: Integrating Your Content into Your Programs 

When you combine conversational AI capabilities with health content, you can uncover barriers to action through the consumer’s response and in turn deliver bite-sized educational clips to address their specific obstacle. This way, you are not only educating them on why they should take a certain action, but you are delivering tailored content which educates around the specific reason that individual is not complying. And because this is built on conversational AI technology, all of this is done at scale, yet individualized, for your entire population. 

 

Innovation 4: Creating Surround Sound

Most of the daily lives of health consumers is digital– emails, websites, apps, social media, text messaging, phone calls, streaming content, and more. This makes it easy to apply our fourth innovative technique: create surround sound by producing a digital omnichannel experience. 

In action, it might look like this: If we were heading into winter and you were trying to drive flu vaccinations, you might post an interactive FAQ to your organization’s social media story, send the mini lesson video through email or text message, and have the full vaccine lesson available through your website portal. Your audience would likely run into your content multiple times, which serves to reinforce the educational message and makes it more likely they’ll act on it. 

Innovation 5: Targeting Your Content to Clear Business Goals 

Your streaming health content is only as effective as it is in line with your goal. So, when producing and deploying content, you should tie it to the areas of your business you want to see an impact on—Health Outcomes Surveys (HOS), preventive screenings, diabetes prevention, and gaps in care just to name a few. Plainly, if your content isn’t addressing the action you’re trying to drive, you won’t drive that action. 

Innovation 6: Data, Data, Data 

Metrics regularly tracked still apply, such as text messages delivered, response rate, and completion rate of the desired action. Integrating streaming health content into your outreach, though, broadens the data you have access to for outreach performance and reporting. Now we can look at clickthrough rate to videos or activities, total views, engagement time, pages or lessons viewed per person, average number of course enrollments, average view time per piece of content, and so much more.

Integrating Health Content into Your Engagement Programs 

When healthcare organizations take the innovative approach of creating educational health content (videos, bite-sized content, interactive FAQs, polls, quizzes, and more) and incorporate it in their outreach, we see much longer engagement times, the underlying problem of health literacy improve, and the fostering of better relationships between healthcare organizations and health consumers. 

Our hope is this new frontier of educational health content creates a change in the health literacy of our society as a whole and improves the engagement and investment of individuals in their own health and well-being. 

Interested in even deeper insights into this new way of outreach? Download the guide, 6 Innovations in Streaming Health Content that Improves the Member Experience, to get the full version of this content.

How to Address Changes in Patient Engagement and Motivate Flu Vaccination Fulfillment

Flu season is coming back around, and in a post-COVID world, that means changes in how members engage when it comes to being vaccinated. Lingering perspectives related to vaccine hesitancy may influence members’ reluctance to be vaccinated for the flu despite vaccinations being even more critical to their continued health. Health plans, providers, and pharmacies will have to work harder this year to ensure their health consumers are vaccinated and protected against the flu than they have in years past.

In the 2022–23 flu season, vaccination coverage with ≥1 dose of flu vaccine was 57.4% among children 6 months through 17 years, similar to the 2021–22 flu season (57.8%), and flu vaccination coverage among adults ≥18 years was 46.9%, a decrease of 2.5 percentage points from the prior season (49.4%).

With the unpredictability of flu severity from season to season, outreach and patient engagement to provide information and identify resources for access to vaccinations is integral to a health plan’s ability to proactively communicate with diverse populations through targeted content.

Annually, unvaccinated individuals will cost the healthcare system over $10.4 billion and an additional $17.6 Billion in lost worker productivity.

Flu vaccine patient education can help to prevent:

  • 5 million flu-related illnesses
  • 7 million flu-associated medical visits
  • 105k flu-associated hospitalizations, and
  • 3k flu-associated deaths 

So, what can the healthcare industry do to combat this? With tools like behavioral science, interactive flu vaccine education, and conversational AI at their disposal, it’s possible to see significant increases in flu vaccination rates among members.

Let’s take a closer look at why.

The Foundation: Science of Human Behavior

Let’s start with the basics for any outreach program we run: behavioral science. In this mega-study conducted by The University of Pennsylvania and Walmart, 22 different behavioral science techniques were tested. These 22 varied techniques were embedded into messages delivered through SMS to over 650,000 Walmart pharmacy patients to determine which boosted vaccination rates the highest. Overall, including all these techniques increased flu vaccination rates by an average of 6.7% over a three-month follow-up period.

However, the endowment effect was the most effective technique, which encouraged patients to visit Walmart for a flu vaccine reserved specifically for them. By telling a person a particular flu shot is ‘reserved for you’ and already belongs to them, the vaccine becomes a tangible thing of value that they own. The Endowment Effect is an emotional bias to put a higher value on owned objects. This approach also uses the technique of Loss Aversion, a bias that makes us care nearly twice as much about avoiding loss than receiving an equivalent gain. In this case, if you don’t claim your flu shot, you’ll lose something you own.

We use behavioral science in every program we deploy for our clients, but this study specifically and the endowment effect itself was the basis with which we built our flu vaccination solution for the 2022-2023 flu season. What UPenn and Walmart didn’t have, though, was the following few factors that pushed our flu program beyond even this study.

Streaming flu vaccine patient education

With so much flu vaccine hesitancy in our post-COVID world, flu vaccine patient education about the safety and efficacy of vaccinations is a necessary step, and departing from the mundane pamphlets and brochures of the past by utilizing streaming health content is an extremely effective way to do this.

fotonovela to help improve flu vaccine patient education

The content we’ve produced for flu vaccine education is a series of fotonovelas, which are auto-forwarding image-based stories with a visual interface similar to the stories feature on Instagram. Fotonovelas are ultimately a health literacy tool, but at the same time, they make learning fun and easy (80% of learners on our platform report liking or loving the fotonovela content type).

In this specific flu fotonovela below, the characters featured resonate with diverse audiences, the storylines detailed transcend linguistic and cultural barriers to deliver essential information, and the tone provides empathy and support on the path toward the desired call to action. The best part is that health patients who view a Fotonovela are 72% more likely to get vaccinated.

2-Way conversations uncover barriers

Having 2-way conversations allows you to gather insights about your members that can inform future communication.

  • What is their sentiment toward the program and plan?
  • Why haven’t they been vaccinated?
  • Have they already been vaccinated, and we don’t know?

Knowing why they haven’t been vaccinated allows the plan to respond with education and resources to assist.

  • Do they need help figuring out where to go? Send them the information to their nearest pharmacy.
  • What about if they’re not sure they need a flu vaccination? Send them a Fotonovela to educate them!

Multiple channels, multiple languages

The UPenn and Walmart mega-study tested SMS messages, but why stop there? A large part of an effective engagement strategy is meeting members where they are. As such, our solution includes SMS, IVR, and email channels. Take the concept of meeting members where they are one step further, and you’ll get the ability to deploy this vaccination solution in both English and Spanish. This means reaching more of your population in the way they want to communicate.

Tackle flu early and effectively

The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older, especially people at higher risk, should get a flu vaccine annually to reduce their risk of contracting seasonal flu, alleviate the severity of symptoms, and decrease the likelihood of experiencing major health complications if infected. The importance of each individual vaccinating against the flu needs to be communicated to members through targeted, succinct, and easily understandable materials delivered through channels to reach them where they are most apt to respond and be motivated to act. Studies have found that patients who are informed and effectively motivated are also more likely to adhere to their treatment recommendations.

Our flu vaccination solution

mPulse Mobile’s flu vaccination solution uses proven behavioral science, dynamic content, and an omnichannel approach to overcome common vaccine barriers and get more members vaccinated. With over 15M Flu vaccination touchpoints sent to Medicaid, Medicare, and Commercial members by mPulse in the last two years using its 2-way Natural Language Understanding platform, we have learned from millions of past vaccine conversations in both Spanish and English. We use behavioral science in a relatable and quick experience and employ Fotonovelas to empower members to act. We can help overcome common barriers and resistance by listening for vaccine readiness.

For more information on this flu vaccination solution and a live demo on how we can improve your flu vaccine patient education, register for our webinar, Double Your Vaccination Rates for Your Health Population.

Shifting the Mindset: How Health Plans Can View Members as Consumers in a Digital-First World

What can health plans learn from the retail industry’s success with consumer engagement?  

A lot, it turns out. Leading retail organizations have been using important digital-first principles for a couple of decades now. This approach has not only transformed the expectations of everyday consumers for all organizations they encounter (including healthcare) but has also driven profits through the roof for these companies.  

Take a moment to think about it. When you sign into Amazon, everything you experience as an end user is seamless and customized. From the presentation of personalized recommendations on your homepage (which is different for every customer) to the fast and easy delivery of your items. It’s all frictionless and crafted for the consumer. 

Where does this leave healthcare? Well, even though health plans are not direct competitors of Amazon (or even in the same industry), their members live in an Amazon world and now have expectations set for this kind of consumer experience across all areas of their lives – food delivery, online retail, and yes, healthcare. The challenge for healthcare organizations now becomes leveling up to those expectations and harnessing these digital-first principles to improve their members’ experiences and inspire healthy behaviors. 

From Members to Consumers: How plans are adopting popular digital trends from leading consumer brands to drive better health outcomes » 

The first step toward that goal is understanding that members are no longer just members. They have become fully-fledged consumers of healthcare services and treating them as such is a critical way for plans to be competitive in a digital-first world. 

Beyond the Consumer Mindset: Implementing a Digital-First Experience 

Simply shifting your view of your members to consumers, however, is not enough. There are significant foundational and technological changes that must be implemented to truly realize this concept and transform the experience. 

  • Using Data to Customize the User Experience – Without data, customizing the experience in this way is impossible. Plans have more data at their disposal than you might think, though. From claims data and satisfaction surveys to engagement data from previous communications programs, it can all be leveraged to customize the experience. This results in tailored tools and resources at every point across their unique journey.  
  • Streaming Health Content – 5% of all Google searches are for health information. That is a lot of people turning to the internet for health education instead of their plan or provider. That also highlights the fact that health literacy is a prevalent issue and a contributing factor to inaction among members. Plans are in a unique position to increase health literacy by providing health education to their consumers with commercial quality streaming health content to sustain engagement, deliver the information that consumer needs at that point in time, and ultimately drive healthier actions at scale. 
  • An Omnichannel Approach – Combining an omnichannel approach with orchestration of resources and channels helps plans reach members in the way they prefer while allowing plan investments to perform with higher results and efficacy. Using a combination of 1 on 1 care coordination, interactive voice response (IVR), mobile web, resource triaging through AI short message service (SMS), multimedia message service (MMS) and rich communication services (RCS) channels are a few examples of digital ways to engage and activate more consumers. 
  • Behavior Science and Conversational AI – Behavior science is a foundational tool for large tech companies to drive specific behaviors in their consumers and ignite growth. It’s healthcare’s time now to take from those lessons and apply them to the health of their members. Health programs and services that seek to understand the intricacies of human behavior and leverage these techniques will significantly increase engagement. 

Want the full version of this content? Access the complete white paper, From Members to Consumers » 

The Members to Consumers White Paper 

By implementing digital trends that drive engagement in the retail landscape, health plans can replicate this success for their population. Leading brands have had to continually stay aligned to trends and keep a high-touch strategy in place to drive sales. Health organizations are in a unique position to leverage consumer insights to refine their strategy, inspire consumers to take action, and lower costs, because unlike Apple or Amazon, health is a necessity. Ensuring your health consumers continually have a positive experience and adopt healthier behaviors based on their individual health needs is critical to drive health outcomes.  

This article gives just a peek into the ways health plans can serve that experience to their members. To get the full version of this content, including case studies from plans who have implemented digital-first techniques, download the white paper, From Members to Consumers: How plans are adopting popular digital trends from leading consumer brands to drive better health outcomes.