Future of Digital Channels
Before 2020, the number of payer codes that addressed digitally delivered healthcare was extremely limited. There wasn’t much exposure to this channel and no compelling reason for the industry to change. This year is markedly different. The patient has experienced the convenience of telehealth and even when it is safe to resume face-to-face interactions, the expectation to have choice around accessibility remains. For the payer, what began as a pivot to address the pandemic has now become a major contributor to the bottom line. The cost of telehealth offers significant savings, and one wonders if interest in this option will outlive social distancing. Here are some drivers that say yes.
According to the Millennial Shopping Report, 60% of this generation’s purchases are made online. Millennials were first to access regulated industries such as banking and investments from their phone, while Gen Z’s have gone further. Expectations of ease inaccessibility are driving some Millennials and most Gen Z’s to the internet for questions about their well-being. Targeted marketing of health-related apps/websites brings continuous prompts for young consumers to try new ways of engaging with healthcare providers. The opportunity is made even more attractive with DIY remedies and early intervention for preventative measures that put young adults in the driver’s seat when it comes to maximizing their well-being.
Economies of Care
The urgency to expand the use of technology to keep patients and HCPs connected during the pandemic was the driving force that brought telehealth to the forefront of customer engagement. Necessity opened the door to greater acceptance of telehealth as a channel benefitting both patients and the payers. On the patient side, it is about convenience for routine care and determining where people feel safer and how they can get the best care. The payers are seeing economies of care in terms of how many patients a physician can see and the efficiency of the process. Previously, Medicare reserved telehealth approvals for patients in remote rural locations. Now, economies of care have reduced the cost of healthcare delivery and the savings is a major motivator for insurance carriers to expand their telehealth approvals. The recognition of care as a key economic driver of value and the recent update to the 30-year-old ICD billing system has paved the way for flexibility in healthcare delivery channels.
Living in a world of retail health means rethinking healthcare through the consumers’ lens. It shines a light on bringing care into the home and empowering patients to capitalize on the convenience while maintaining the level of care. The learning curve includes effectively collecting vitals and learning how to report this information to the HCP. Some insurance providers are hands-on in the effort by sending basic monitoring equipment and branded tips cards to subscribers on how to collect their vitals and communicate that during the appointment. Taking the opportunity to build awareness of their brand while educating the patient is the classic application of healthcare marketing for today’s new channels.
Whether healthcare sees a continued shift in delivery options or some hybrid model that makes the best of all options, marketers have made great strides with digital information share. And to thrive in 2021 we should continue to look for opportunities to monitor the rapidly evolving buying behavior of patients, enhancements to the customer experience, and trends in provider accommodations.
At Xavier Creative House, we infuse meaningful technology into strategic healthcare marketing solutions that authentically connect with HCPs and patients. With the surge of interest in virtual digital delivery, we are leading the way to help our clients put a digital strategy in place to transform their communication capabilities with savvy digital initiatives that educate and build awareness. Whether you’ve done your pivot or are just seeing the possibility of digital execution, XCH is here to help you on your journey.