The need-to-know guide to including rewards & incentives in your 2020 Medicare Advantage bid

The need-to-know guide to including rewards & incentives in your 2020 Medicare Advantage bid

With Medicare Advantage bids due on June 3, your actuarial teams are already hard at work preparing your plan’s bid for 2020. So if you’ve been thinking about including rewards & incentives for next year—now’s the time.

R&I programs can motivate members to complete high-value healthcare activities—those that have the biggest impact on member health and plan performance.

But if you’re underfunding your R&I program, you run the risk of limiting its effectiveness. And if you miss out on including it in your bid altogether, it can be challenging to find room for an R&I program in the budget later on.

So don’t put it off.

For a successful 2020, start planning now for an R&I program that supports your plan’s business goals—whether it’s improving quality, enhancing satisfaction, or accurately identifying and capturing risk.

Download our need-to-know guide for including R&I costs in your bid—plus, how to comply with CMS requirements and optimize your R&I investment this year and beyond.

   DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE  

Want to double check your R&I budget math? Contact us for a free calculation.

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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6 essential tips for creating accessible, understandable Medicare content

6 essential tips for creating accessible, understandable Medicare content

According to a recent study by VisibleThread that analyzed the ability of health insurers to communicate clearly, a whopping 86.6% of Medicare communications aren’t understood by Medicare members. This is problematic as more than half of Medicare members have basic or below-basic health literacy levels.

The study notes that communicating in plain language is one of the most important ways health plans can build trust with members—trust that ultimately builds satisfaction and loyalty. But instead of using simple language, the majority of plans use complex language and long sentences, which can obscure the message being communicated.

In the analysis of 30 U.S. health insurers, the results showed that:

  • Only 6 out of 30 have an acceptable level of word density
  • 56.6% of insurers communicate in an academic tone
  • Long sentences are at 2X the recommended level
  • 66% of insurers produce content more difficult to read than Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

6 essential tips for creating accessible, understandable Medicare content

#1: Explain complex medical terms in plain language

Some words like “mammogram” or “ophthalmologist” are medically necessary. The goal isn’t eliminating those terms—it’s educating members about them.

Avoid this: “Schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist and attest to the visit when completed to receive your reward.”

And try this instead: “It’s time to schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist (a special doctor for your eyes). Once you’ve completed this activity, let us know. Then we’ll send you the gift card of your choice.”

#2: Use design to help readability

Certain communications require more content. When you’re working with multiple paragraphs, use design elements like bullet points, numbered lists and colored text to help guide members through the information. Icons or graphic illustrations can also help support a message or convey an idea—or simply provide a visual “break” from a large amount of content.

#3: Make sure your message is channel-appropriate

Not all messages are suitable for all channels. New member welcome communications, for example, that contain an introduction to the rewards program and information on how to join, should ideally be sent by traditional mail or email. A quick reminder to schedule an appointment, on the other hand, is great for an SMS text. Consider the complexity of your message when deciding how to deploy it.

#4: Avoid clichés, idioms and slang

When you’re trying to make your content more understandable, casual language can seem helpful. In reality, however, using phrases that are common in speech but not in formal writing can alienate members of your audience and lead to misinterpretation. It’s better to use language that’s simple, clear and concise.

Another key reason to avoid clichés, idioms and slang is that the meaning seldom translates. A phrase like “put your best foot forward” means one thing in English, but lacks the same meaning in other languages, especially when it’s translated word for word.

#5: Don’t just tell members what to do; tell them why it  matters

The key to motivating people is telling them what’s in it for them. If your goal is getting members to close care gaps, for example, don’t just prompt them to schedule the appointment—explain why it’s important and the impact it can have on their health.

Avoid this: “It’s time to schedule your breast cancer screening. Call us to set up your appointment.”

And try this instead: “A breast cancer screening (also called a mammogram) could help find cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. This is the best test doctors use to find breast cancer. Schedule your appointment with your doctor today.”

#6: Don’t rely too heavily on readability tools

There are several online tools, such as Flesch Kincaid, that score your content’s readability by grade level. These tools can help confirm your content is at or below a targeted grade level, but they can’t ensure your message is clear. That’s why a skilled content creator who understands context and nuance is essential, and why readability tools should be part of the content review process, but not the final say.

To learn more best practices and insights around optimizing your member communications for effective engagement, check out our presentation from the National Conferences on Medicare, Medicaid & Duals.

   DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION   

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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The surprising impact Annual Wellness Visits can have on plan performance

The surprising impact Annual Wellness Visits can have on plan performance

Despite the fact that Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs) have been offered as a benefit to Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members for several years, the percentage of members who actually receive an AWV is small.

These low uptake rates can be explained in part by lack of availability among providers. For example, less than half of primary care providers offer an AWV to their Medicare patients. But health plans have a part to play, too. Some plans don’t promote AWVs as an available healthcare activity to their members—and if they do, it’s often not incentivized.

That’s surprising given the well-known benefits of the AWV—such as strengthening the patient/provider relationship, early detection of chronic disease and the opportunity to discuss things like advanced care planning.

When health plans make AWVs a central part of their member engagement efforts, they see a substantial lift in the completion of both AWVs and other high-value healthcare activities (HCAs). Plans can also benefit from using the AWV to improve the accuracy and efficacy of their risk adjustment efforts.

Download the infographic to see the positive impact AWVs can have and get 5 strategies for motivating more members to have more productive visits.

   DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC   

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies: How 1 Health Plan Engaged and Motivated a Complex Population

Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies: How 1 Health Plan Engaged and Motivated a Complex Population

The Mom & Baby population is one of the most complex, costly and challenging populations for Medicaid plans to serve. But early engagement can make all the difference for the mom-to-be and her baby, as well as health plan performance and cost management.

As an expert in engaging and motivating hard-to-reach populations, we know what works and what doesn’t. We shared our insights at the 10th Annual Medicaid Innovations Forum, and we’re excited to share them with you too.

Download the deck, presented by Christine Gage, Sr. Program Performance Strategist at NovuHealth, to:

  • Learn key insights about the Mom & Baby population and why they require a unique engagement approach
  • Discover proven strategies for engaging and motivating moms-to-be to close critical care gaps that lead to healthier babies
  • Hear about one health plan’s incredible results, and learn what works, what doesn’t, and insights uncovered in the process
  • … and more
   GET THE SLIDES   

 

Looking for even more insights and best practices around building an effective engagement program that helps motivate challenging Medicaid populations? Contact us to see how we can help.

 

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

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Lessons from Leaders: The 7 Habits of High-Performing Health Plans

Lessons from Leaders: The 7 Habits of High-Performing Health Plans

Leading health plan executives know their plan’s performance is largely tied to how well they engage members and motivate them to take action. And they also know that engaging members can result in better satisfaction, retention and outcomes.

As an expert in consumer health engagement, we’ve seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t. Download our presentation from the 2nd Annual Medicare Advantage Leadership Innovations conference—given by Cory Busse, Sr. Director, Health Care Engagement Strategist at NovuHealth—to:

  • Learn how to align your member engagement strategies with core business objectives and KPIs
  • Discover how to identify which members are most likely to act—or most likely to leave
  • Determine whether you’re overspending or underspending on rewards and incentives
  • Hear about new ways to optimize your communication channels and personalize your content
  •  … and more
   DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION   

About NovuHealth
NovuHealth is the leading healthcare consumer engagement company, offering rewards and incentive programs that improve consumer health and plan performance. NovuHealth applies proven loyalty and data science strategies and leverages its deep industry and regulatory expertise to motivate high-value consumer activities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, NovuHealth has worked with nearly 40 health plans and served more than 15 million consumers across all 50 states. Learn more at novuhealth.com.

Read more