The Future of Healthcare Communications

Guess what the day after Halloween is? A sugar letdown? Sure. But I’m talking about … open enrollment time. Open enrollment for healthcare begins November 1 and runs through December 15, but WE, meaning T/O, are in the midst of it right now. Did you know that creating secure communications and workflows for the healthcare industry is one of our core competencies? Now you know.

And here’s some more really good information below. For the record, I thought the seriousness of the topic might require me to tone down my rhetoric for a post (but never fear, there’s more sarcasm coming your way next week).

The implementation of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) created a need for healthcare providers to communicate effectively to millions of Americans. (Good news for those of us in the print industry as the volume of secure print communications required increased.) Last year in November, a record number of Americans — 100,000 — applied for new healthcare coverage during open enrollment.

The ACA included subsidized insurance through state and federal insurance exchanges to over 20 million previously uninsured Americans, and resulted in 31 states being able to expand their Medicaid programs.

Even though there is uncertainty around ACA’s future, one thing that’s obvious is that as healthcare partners, we need to keep up with what’s happening. It will be critical for healthcare providers to lock in partners that can help them improve performance while adhering to constantly changing federal and state requirements.

Healthcare provider communication strategies should consist of these two themes:

Personalized Patient Outreach – Healthcare that’s more personalized should be at the top any provider’s list. Ask yourself this question: What data can I harness that encompasses that person’s life, not just the transaction. The more information you can provide a consumer that’s actionable, the more they can take charge of their own healthcare.

Influencing healthy behaviors among patients outside the health facility – Many offices do this well in house, but the health care industry as a whole must be better at communicating screenings, patient actions and follow-up care communications. General health education is also critical. Awarding members for watching a webinar, or a video or taking a health assessment online can be a great way to engage them.

Ultimately, the goal is to provide (and receive) communication solutions that demonstrate change and positively affect healthcare for all Americans. My team and I are focused on helping health insurance clients communicate more effectively with their current and prospective members. The T/O team has been producing Medicare- and Medicaid-mandated materials for over 25 years … we are experts and can help your team produce and deliver whatever is needed to adhere to your federal or state mandates.