The Evolution of Health Care Engagement

by Mike Munoz, President, AmeriHealth New Jersey | May 16, 2019
The Evolution of Health Care Engagement

The one thing that remains constant in health care is change.

Not only has the delivery of health care transformed dramatically in recent years, but overall engagement with our members has evolved in some exciting ways.

Enhancing health care through technology 
How we communicate with one another has changed drastically in recent years. This includes how health plans communicate to their members. Historically a letter or telephone call would suffice. However, in an era of smartphones we had to rethink how we engage with members who had become savvy consumers of health care in theblink of an eye.

Technology has been the key to enabling us to help provide better access to health care. When we first opened our doors 25 years ago, the iPhone was still more than a decade away from being introduced, making telemedicine a pie-in-the-sky idea. Today, we offer the service as a standard benefit to our fully insured members and have been for several years. That’s just one example of how health care has become more accessible and practical.

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Today we are engaging with members on a whole different level and providing them with information in the way they want to receive it— digitally.

Health care in the palm of your hand
Most people rely on a mobile device for access to everything they need, so it only made sense for health care to be in the mix.

Mobile apps can help you do everything from manage your bank account to make a hotel reservation. They can also help you to find health care providers, schedule appointments, manage a disease and provide wellness resources. There are even tools available that can compare estimated out-of-pocket costs across different providers based on claims data and specific benefit plans, as well asestimate the cost of prescription drugs.

At the end of the day, we want to simplify the experience for our members and make accessing health care as easy as possible. Another example of this is the use of text messaging to communicate important information, such as a doctor’s office sending a patient a reminder about an annual PCP visit, or we at AmeriHealth New Jersey sending messages to our members about getting preventive screenings.

Texting has also helped simplify the renewal process. We can now send a text to members with a link to information regarding plan options for the upcoming year. If they are satisfied with their plan, they can simply Text2Renew.

Ten years ago, these types of resources in health care were in the infancy stages—mere “what-if” conversations. With 70 percent of our consumer members currently opted into email and text messaging services, and more than 60 percent of members across all segments, we expect the momentum we have seen in this area to grow.

The evolution continues
A lot of progress has been made, but it doesn’t stop here. We are constantly evaluating tools and resources that can help empower our members to make informed decisions, as well as ways that we can help make positive impacts on their overall health and well-being.

Mike Munoz is president of AmeriHealth New Jersey (collectively AmeriHealth Insurance Company of New Jersey and AmeriHealth HMO, Inc.).

To read the digital edition of South Jersey Biz, click here.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2019).

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Author: Mike Munoz, President, AmeriHealth New Jersey


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