Member engagement is about more than higher Medicare Star Ratings and keeping member bases loyal. A highly engaged health plan member is one who is actively involved in their health and wellness, and one who is more likely to adhere to care plan instructions, treatment, and medication regimens, and prioritize improving their overall state of health and well-being.
Today, Medicare beneficiaries are mostly made up of Seniors and Baby Boomers. These two generations have some similarities in their preferences for healthcare (how health and related communications and experiences are delivered and received) but some distinctions exist. [Get specific insights on both generations’ unique care preferences, SDOH concerns, and strategies to address these here.]
But one of the challenges for Medicare Advantage plans is how to properly activate their member base. This is due in part to the recent digitization of healthcare, which for Seniors has been a bit harder to adapt to. This generation of Medicare beneficiaries has grown up with in-person healthcare and still prefers more traditional communication and care methods.
The second challenge is that Medicare plan providers themselves are still adapting and evolving their Medicare plans and their approaches to meet today’s desire for a whole-health approach, which is a mixture of traditional medical health, as well as other items members value including dental, vision, hearing, fitness, and mental health.
Finally, the third key challenge to engaging Medicare Advantage plan members is having the tools and resources to do so – without breaking the bank and deprioritizing care tools. Specifically, plan providers are looking for ways to make member engagement more efficient and effective. Having a member engagement support staff, program, strategy, and the right technology solutions are paramount.
How to Engage Medicare Advantage Members with Digital Health
Using HELIOS to overcome tech literacy, elevate proactive care
Seniors are typically less confident than Baby Boomers when it comes to using electronic devices, with only one survey finding that only 26% of individuals aged 65+ felt very confident. Boomers in this survey were nearly double with 41% feeling very confident and 42% somewhat confident.
Despite this, more and more older adults are getting more active online. In a recent PEW Research survey analysis, the gap between younger generations and older adults has significantly decreased. For adults aged 65+, in 2012 only about 13% owned a smartphone, but by 2021 about 61% did.
To help improve member engagement Medicare Advantage payers should be looking to support members by educating them about provided technology tools (member portals, online articles, online forms, and bill pay) as well as setting up care management teams to support and help members with health-related tech-literacy needs. An easy way to do this is to provide 1-1 instruction, as well as on-demand educational instruction in written, verbal, and video formats
HELIOSvisit makes engaging members easy and simplifies telemedicine
Telehealth remains popular with many adults over the age of 50. In fact, a recent AARP study revealed that one-third of adults 50 years or older are interested in using telehealth for themselves or for a loved one.
What’s great with HELIOSvisit is it removes the usual obstacle to telemedicine adoption for older users. It also doesn’t require additional technology or tools. It’s an easy-to-use telehealth option that allows for video chats, audio chats, two-way messaging, and secure file sharing. It’s also HIPPA-compliant.
See how HELIOSvisit works in this quick video below.
Leverage remote patient monitoring (RPM) data
HELIOS can also capture data from remote patient monitoring devices and integrate the insights within the member’s larger data group to better inform on member health and more quickly alert care managers to health risks.
For example, many Seniors are susceptible to slips and falls. A fall-risk detection device can automatically send data into HELIOS, and when a threshold is met, an automatic risk alert is sent. A care manager can then follow up with the patient to see if they are alright, and if not, help execute the right next steps as well as preventive measures.
Leveraging real-time RPM data from wearable devices can significantly help improve the management of Medicare Advantage populations, especially for those with chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension where ongoing observance of vitals can be critical.
Activating the Medicare Member with a Whole-Person Health Approach
Effective care collaboration and complex chronic condition management
Today’s patients expect high-value healthcare experiences that are both effective and efficient. They also expect their providers to know them – completely.
Moreover, with Medicare Advantage populations, payers are often managing members with at least one or more chronic complex conditions. More than two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries have multiple chronic conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and lung disease. Baby Boomers have more chronic diseases and disabilities than Seniors, with about 60% diagnosed with at least one condition such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, hypertension, or depression. This number is higher for Boomers who are also caregivers of Seniors. And as Baby Boomers continue to be aging into Medicare, ensuring complex conditions like diabetes and depression are effectively managed will be key.
With HELIOS, individuals across the care continuum can access the most up-to-date information about a member and adapt care plans and treatments accordingly. This also enables a collaborative and coordinated care approach, which is especially important for Medicare members with complex chronic conditions. [See 11 tips for managing the care of these individuals.]
On that note, whole-person care also includes behavioral health services and support. Older adults do suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression and may even be more susceptible due to their physical health, lifestyle, or living arrangements. Thankfully, HELIOS addresses the need for supporting behavioral health by providing a whole-person view, comprehensive assessments, and collaborative workflows that empower teams to proactively address both physical and behavioral needs. From large-scale community-based populations to facility-based cohorts with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), HELIOS can support care management efforts.
Member Engagement Can Happen in HELIOS without Leaving the Platform
Support health literacy, care plan adherence, medication management, and more
Finally, to maximize Medicare Advantage plan member engagement a payer needs to have the right technologies, tools, and resources.
This usually looks like an interactive member portal, email, social media, digital tools and resources (like interactive quizzes, blogs, teaching videos, etc.), and a care management platform that supports member outreach (think virtual video chats and SMS).
Part of why Medicare Advantage payers choose HELIOS is that it can be leveraged by teams responsible for care management, utilization management, providers, and more to create a seamless experience for members across the continuum of care. Specific to engagement though, HELIOS allows a care management team to interact with the member without leaving the platform.
HELIOS can let care managers do the following with members:
1. Share health education resources
2. Send outbound text messages
3. Securely share files and documents
4. Two-way instant messaging
5. Virtual video calls (can also do audio only)
6. Continually track real-time vitals and care updates
An engaged Medicare plan member is one who is participating in routine communication with care managers, health providers, and the plan. and effectively thus more likely to have better health as they prioritize communications and care plan instructions. For populations with Baby Boomers and Seniors, self-advocacy and engagement is key to enabling a better state of health and quality of life.