Moving Beyond Just “Payer:” Why It’s Time for Insurance Organizations to Level Up the Member Experience

September 12, 2019 Holly Enneking

With healthcare costs on the rise, patients are now demanding a higher quality of service and a more personalized experience than ever before. Not only are they demanding better service from their providers, but from their payers as well.

Oftentimes, payers are seen as “the faceless company that sends me EOB documents, claims, and bills.” With no solid relationships in place, it’s easy for patients not to think twice about switching around as they move employers or face big life changes, such as retirement or even entrepreneurship.

In a hyper-competitive market on the verge of disruption from companies like technology-giant Amazon, leveraging patient relationships to drive new patient acquisition and retention is critical to staying ahead as we consider how patients will interact with their insurance providers in the future.

Leveling up the patient experience means putting a face to the name with insurance providers, and taking advantage of opportunities to make personal connections with their members. 

 

What does this look like?

Well, for starters – many leading insurance providers are leveraging tools such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud to create tailored wellness journeys for their patients. An immediate value add to their patients, being creative with content like this gives insurance companies the opportunity to build their brand and their relationships with their patients. Traditional marketing used to mean sending broad messages to a large audience – but now, patients expect targeted and personalized interactions from every brand they interact with.

Not only do email journeys with information surrounding wellness and prevention engage existing patients, they attract new ones. For those in the market for health insurance, it’s highly likely that they’re spending time doing ample research before initiating a conversation with an actual representative. Capturing prospective patient information in the research phase and providing them tailored content of all the things they’d want to know prior to signing up for a plan gives insurance companies a leg up in new patient acquisition by accelerating them towards 1:1 conversations.

However, email journeys are just one of the many ways patients are wanting to interact with their insurance providers. Providing options to search and filter in-network providers and seeing what services their plan qualifies them for are just a few of the other ways we see insurance providers taking advantage of digital marketing channels to create more holistic experiences for their patients.

 

But what about when patients are past the stages of research or prevention? How can insurance providers interact with patients in a meaningful way during their most vulnerable moments?

Despite the reality of mergers, acquisitions, and other factors behind the scenes that can lead to disparate systems and complicated data integrations, it’s imperative that insurance providers do everything they can to deliver a seamless experience to reassure patients that they’re dealing with one company, one system, and one source of truth. 

Having integrated, cross-cloud solutions enables patient data to flow through platforms to continue providing a personalized experience at every touchpoint. Leveraging HIPAA-compliant solutions for patient data encryption, integrations between platforms like Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud help elevate the customer experience even more. Logged interactions with customer care representatives can flow between systems, triggering email and SMS messages to let patients know you’ve got their back – and there’s nothing they want to hear more from you during times like those. 

Because, ultimately – isn’t that what we all want? To know that our insurance companies have our back when life gets messy? Or when life is just life? Patients (people like you and me) want to know that we’re taken care of, and given the resources we need to pursue a healthy and happy life. Insurance companies around the country are already providing this support and comfort to their patients. All they need to do is let their patients know that they’re there.

 

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