As healthcare evolves toward more digital tools and offerings, consumer expectations about the online experiences their providers and plans offer have never been higher. For payers, the opportunity is significant: well-designed online tools translate into better member engagement, higher retention rates, improved health outcomes and quality of care scores, and reduced administrative costs.
However, simply making an online portal available to members isn’t enough. For payers to see these benefits, they must offer a good healthcare digital experience in a secure data environment. Make the portal easy to use, and you’ll see members create accounts, login, and return again and again. If a member portal is cumbersome and requires multiple validation processes to login, you’re likely to see low utilization and engagement. Leveraging the latest tools and intelligence in identity verification makes it easier for payers to design a strong digital experience.
Benefits of a Strong Healthcare Digital Experience?
The digital experience is the sum of all digital interactions an individual has with a company. This can include mobile apps, websites, telehealth tools, and online portals. Digital experience influences a consumer’s overall experience with a brand and is a key factor in deciding whether to remain loyal to a brand or choose another.
For payers, designing a strong healthcare digital experience should be a top priority. Payers should set their sights on building member portals and digital platforms that meet and exceed member expectations. Well-designed portals make it easy for members to access resources to help manage their health conditions and navigate care, keep personal health data secure and private, and offer the payer many long-term benefits, including:
- Higher Member Engagement: Members who register and engage with a payer’s portal are more likely to return and use the portal when there is a consistent, easy-to-use experience. Providing members with resources to manage their health and their plan benefits pays off. Members who more fully understand their benefits are likely to be more engaged with their providers and care, and less likely to wait to seek care when risks and complications arise.
- Better Quality Outcomes: Well-designed online portals engage more members. When payers provide online education materials and tools, members benefit from better care and ultimately better health outcomes. These improvements can make a positive impact on a payer’s overall quality of care scores as measured by NCQA or other third-party agencies.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction: Digital experience is a key component of a member’s overall experience with your plan. Positive healthcare digital experiences lead to higher net promoter scores (NPS), Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) scores, and Medicare Star Ratings. For Medicare advantage plans, higher Star ratings translate to increased revenue and bonus payments. For all plans, members who are more satisfied will be more likely to stay with your plan when presented with a choice.
- Administrative Cost Savings: When members login and regularly engage with portals, payers can see a reduction in overall administrative costs. Online and digital tools can enhance customer service offerings and cost a fraction of live customer service solutions.
- Prevention Against Data Breaches: Data breaches in healthcare are costly to a payer’s bottom line and reputation. Payers need to balance a high-quality healthcare digital experience for members with security and systems that protect health data. However, a portal that requires too much verification or authentication can be a barrier to member engagement, causing members to give up midway through the account creation or login process. Portals and tools that leverage the latest developments and intelligence in identity verification address the challenge to provide a positive experience, while mitigating the risk of data breaches.
Strong Healthcare Digital Experience Requires Payers to Find the Right Balance
As more digitally focused, member-centered experiences become the standard, payers need to offer portals and digital platforms that meet and exceed member expectations.
There is a cost to unsatisfactory user experiences, but there is also a cost to not having strong enough security features to protect your member health information and your digital assets. Designing a highly personalized, low-friction portal experience for members requires carefully balancing the risk with the experience you want to provide your members. A strong digital experience is a valuable asset to payers that can improve member engagement and satisfaction, yielding member retention, better health outcomes and ultimately revenue.