How Open Enrollment Can Open the Door for Greater Returns
Any enrollment period is a time for a solid communication plan, but imagine the possibilities that could come from using year-long communication campaigns to reach your unique audiences. Imagine being able to clearly articulate how you’ve helped patients, employers, and brokers drive sustainable growth. By focusing on building loyalty and driving advocacy, you create a differentiated value prop that makes your system a must-have in-network for all product audiences. Because really, patient loyalty is built throughout the year and not just during open enrollment.
To get your system to must-have status, you have to understand your specific audience needs — and communicate them over and over again.
Build strong employer connections
Many systems’ biggest missed opportunity is connecting with employers. Commercial contracts are typically the highest reimbursing and a main revenue driver for providers. But many systems don’t have standardized processes in place to accurately capture and track patient engagement by employer — which makes it difficult to create and build relationships that convert employers and their organizations into loyal advocates when you need them.
Without context, employers tend to view healthcare as a sunk cost and feel that the pressure is on them to keep their employees healthy. In reality, a recent survey found that employees are largely satisfied with their benefits, but many said they don’t get the care they need or make the most of available coverage because they struggle to navigate the healthcare system. Additionally, 75% of employees felt their health worsened or stayed the same last year, while 60% of employers believe their workforce’s physical and mental health improved.
This disconnect is really an opportunity. Providers can share trends and insights year-round to create a partnership approach, increasing employee health and well-being. This can also highlight the resulting financial and administrative savings that are a top priority for employers. With a better understanding of these needs, providers are able to show true value in new and unique ways that can influence coverage decisions when renewal time comes around.
Health systems can use open enrollment as a starting place. A way to prove that you’re the ideal partner for care. Let employers and brokers know about the choice they have that includes your health system, and you'll create awareness of your services among potential patients. Create this initial connection with employers during open enrollment and continue engaging throughout the year to maximize revenue and retention. The more you connect with — and support — the employers around you, the more likely they will choose coverage options that keep you in-network for their employees and clients. We can’t underestimate the power supporting this group can have.
Understand the differentiated needs of your patient audiences
When it comes to something as daunting as choosing health insurance, we want patients to feel like they’re in the driver’s seat. By providing quality care and thoughtful guidance on how to maximize their available coverage benefits to stay healthier longer, providers can position themselves as trusted advisors who can help patients make the right decisions regarding their health.
When you start with a foundational understanding of available benefits for each insurance product, you can tailor messaging to specific and nuanced needs. This results in higher patient satisfaction and retention, as well as better outcomes for patients. Clear communication at key points in a patient’s healthcare journey can help the system build loyalty and reap the rewards when they make insurance coverage decisions.
Be a resource for your community. By letting them know that you care about and truly understand their health needs, you’ll create lasting impacts that extend beyond any single open enrollment period.
Discover the benefits of open enrollment marketing
With year-round strategies in place to engage your main audiences, providers will have a distinct competitive advantage during open enrollment periods — driving patient acquisition, retention, and better outcomes. Leveraging managed care contracting strategies as part of your marketing and communications can create unique opportunities for patient engagement throughout the year and maximize the ROI you see from open enrollment marketing — building stronger ties to your community and increasing revenue for your organization.
Navigating open enrollment and managed care is complex. And throwing marketing into the mix adds a whole new dimension. The solution? A single-source partner with proven results in both areas. A partner like Unlock Health, who can drive real results and CFO-credible ROI. Learn more about our approach to managed care and healthcare marketing, and start the conversation with us today.