Healthcare has entered a new frontier. The old rules – and the old way of doing business – no longer apply. The ACA has changed the rules and healthcare market, bringing new regulations – and new competition – into the fold. Plan providers, patients, and caregivers are still trying to adjust to the new realities and will be for some time. Massive change doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s not just the ACA that is driving massive changes in the way we purchase, receive and deliver healthcare services. The digital revolution has changed the way we work, live, communicate and do business. In less than a decade, the smartphone has completely altered our world, keeping us connected 24/7. It’s changed customer expectations for how they research, purchase and receive goods and services – including healthcare.
We’ve previously discussed why plan providers must implement digital member communication platforms to survive and thrive in the new healthcare world. Implementing a full-service member communication platform might look daunting, but it’s easier than you think. Executing the following 10 steps will help plan providers launch a program – and get a jump on their competition.
- Establish a centralized member communication control team
Technology is incredibly powerful. But human ingenuity is needed to drive it. Empower your team with access to subject matter experts in IT, compliance, pharmacy operations and other areas. Bring together a team that knows your audience and your process, and give them free rein to design a customized system that works for your customers and your business.
- Develop a process to capture, manage and record member email addresses and preferences
The best way to find out what your audience’s communications preferences are is to ask. Email is an effective way to communicate with your audience and gather information. Your audience, however, is large and diverse. Developing a system that captures and manages their individual preferences is paramount to launching a successful communication platform.
- Review your threshold language requirements
What languages do you need to support for compliance? The ACA has stringent requirements around providing communications in various languages. These requirements are often based on the language spoken by the population likely to encounter a provider’s service. Geography will play a large part in these determinations. You’ll need to build language and translation services into your platform, so determining exactly which languages you will likely need is an important step.
- Create a “landing spot” for emails and for authentication
Reach out to the team managing your portal and work with them to devise a landing page for authentication of emails. Since you’ll be dealing with HIPPA-sensitive information, you will need to create a secure platform for authenticating emails, opt-ins, and other patient information. Your IT team will be able to create a secure space for these actions to occur.
- Start with pharmacy and provider directories
Your members don’t want to comb through hundreds of pages of directories when looking for providers or prescriptions. Digitizing these directories are a great way to kick off your program. The information is readily available, and the savings you’ll realize on print costs will return immediate ROI.
- Organize your documents
A digital communication platform will modernize your operations and deliver efficiencies that save money and time. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Migrating your documents from current antiquated systems to your new platform will require some effort. Coordinate with your IT team to bring your documents to a retrieval-ready state.
- Validate your DKIM, SPF, Sender-ID, and domain key protocols
If you don’t plan on utilizing a third-party for email delivery services, you must ensure your emails and server are secure. Compliance is a serious issue, with serious consequences for failure to meet responsibilities. Work with your IT team to solidify email verification and authentication.
- Check the blacklist – and make sure you’re not on it
Approximately 80 percent of daily email sent on the internet is considered spam. Though you may not be sending spam, it’s relatively easy for your server to be caught up in a public blacklist. The volume of messages delivered from your server can put you on a blacklist. Before you launch your digital communication platform, make sure your server is in good standing.
- Track bounces
Emails lists are not evergreen. People change addresses and services often. You will, undoubtedly, experience a significant amount of email bounces. To keep your lists up to date – and your server clear of the blacklist – you must develop a system with remediation actions to deal with email bounces.
- Get help!
Developing and implementing a digital communication platform will help improve customer satisfaction, efficiency, and your bottom line. Launching from scratch, however, requires investment in manpower. Not every plan provider possesses the time or resources to make the investment to launch a platform internally. Outsourcing your platform – from creation through execution – often saves time and money with the added benefit of utilizing subject matter experts.
ABG Communications can help.
We have developed a next generation platform and process that will expedite ROI while saving time and resources. BridgeSuite,TMmerged with ABG’s solutions team, resolves the toughest member communication challenges. “Data Driven, People Powered” is truly ABG’s motto. ABG Communications solutions streamline your processes, free up time and lets organizations get back on track to “Increasing Returns.”
To learn more, check our member communication software solutions and take a free demo