Personalized, timely, and accurate communications with members and providers are critical for healthcare insurers and third party administrators (TPAs). Well conceived communications can yield many benefits including improved member and provider satisfaction, improvements to members’ health, positive contributions to industry certifications, and more. However, poorly implemented healthcare communications can quickly become costly and cause great damage to your brand, reputation, and bottomline.
Many organizations will go years between assessing their communication capabilities not realizing that by doing so they could be missing out on significant hard and soft savings opportunities. Some of these opportunities are obvious and direct, such as optimizing how communications are packaged together to save on postage costs. Other opportunities may not be as obvious, but still have significant positive impacts.
Identifying Savings Opportunities — Internal vs. External Partners
Assessing your organization’s communications programs for potential cost savings can be challenging. Multiple internal business units, information technology (IT) teams, compliance and regulatory teams, marketing and sales teams, service and support teams, as well as external vendors and partners all actively contribute to identifying communication needs, designing and implementing, operationalizing, monitoring and controlling communications. Communication programs are developed and evolve over years, sometimes decades. Being able to thoughtfully, and objectively, inventory and assess those capabilities is an immense challenge.
And while assessing your communication capabilities may seem like an insurmountable task, leveraging an external partner who specifically specializes in helping healthcare organizations assess and optimize their communications programs may be the best answer.
An external partner can efficiently assess your capabilities, identify opportunities for improvement, and help you implement changes to realize an immediate return on your investment. MPX has been a partner to many healthcare organizations, helping them to identify and rapidly implement meaningful change, yielding immediate positive impacts utilizing the HealthLinq application.
Crawl, Walk, Run
To realize the benefit of communication program optimization, organizations should thoroughly pursue targeted improvements to specific program elements. Although each and every health plan has its own unique challenges, there are common threads of opportunities that are shared across plans. While addressing many of these savings opportunities simultaneously may be an attractive prospect, MPX has found that having a thoughtful, progressive approach and a well thought out roadmap represents the best balance of changes, organizational impact, and return on investment (ROI).
Savings Opportunities for Healthcare Communications
- Data Management, Mediation, Integration, Quality
All member and provider communications programs start with data. Unfortunately, the data required to trigger, populate, and personalize the communications usually needs to be aggregated, transformed, and sometimes cleaned and validated. These processes can be time consuming and may not be able to be automated. Using the right tools and partners, organizations can potentially outsource components of their data needs yielding time, quality, and cost savings
- Workflow Automation
Oftentimes, organizations implement communications on an as-needed basis resulting in highly manual processes which can be labor intensive and prone to human error. With advancements in automation technology, organizations may be able to quickly automate their communications workflows, from design to production, yielding significant savings while also reducing errors.
- Process Optimization
Organizations develop processes over time and tend to not proactively evaluate them until a critical issue with the process arises. This increases the probability of significant inefficiencies that, if resolved, could yield material savings. Privacy notices are common communications where cost savings can be realized in production and mailing.
- Communications Design Enhancements
By questioning the design of key communications, organizations can drive improvements to how information is consumed and understood. This will not only improve member and provider satisfaction, but can also materially reduce the number of inquiries to service centers, reducing operating costs. Communications design directly impacts production costs by wisely using pre-printed and on-demand printing as appropriate for each application. Consider color versus black and white. Consdier integrating mixed materials, such as plastic ID cards embedded directly on full sheets that can be printed with welcome and plan details for instance.
- Consolidation, or even Deconstruction, of Communications
Navigating the United States Postal Service (USPS) postal rates and rules can be cumbersome and complex. Optimizing mailings to take advantage of the best postal rates can result in tremendous postal savings, though the solutions may not always be obvious. Having partners with deep USPS experience matters.
- Introduction of Digital Capabilities
Members and providers are increasingly expecting to be able to choose how and when they receive key communications. By creating digital communications and making it easy for members and providers to choose to receive their communications digitally, organizations can dramatically reduce their costs. The cost to produce and email a PDF is exponentially less expensive than having to print and mail the same communication.
- Volume Discounting
By choosing the right partner and consolidating services, organizations can potentially take advantage of per piece volume discounts. By choosing the right partner and consolidating communications, healthcare insurers can realize great savings through volume-based discounting.
There are numerous opportunities for organizations to embark on their healthcare communications cost savings journey. Finding a partner who understands healthcare and can identify opportunities, develop a plan, and implement changes will expedite those efforts.
Developed to be better, smarter, and tailored to the unique needs of each health plan, HealthLinq is a flexible, scalable, complete healthcare insurance fulfillment solution that is delivered with unparalleled expertise and backed by a legacy of quality. Contact us for a demo today to see how HealthLinq can help your organization realize increased savings, efficiency and member satisfaction.