How communication helps create a smart health care consumer

Creating smart healthcare consumers takes personalized and frequent communication. What are the characteristics of a smart health care consumers?

Here are some examples:

– Carefully chooses a personal doctor (primary care physician) for managing their healthcare

– Maintains a healthy lifestyle

– Gets an annual checkup and follows doctor’s recommendations

– Prepares specific questions to ask doctors before a visit

– Knows where the urgent care centers in their health plan’s network are to avoid using a hospital emergency room except in a true emergency

– Checks that their healthcare providers are always in the network

– Checks that prescribed drugs are generic

– Orders long-term medications through the health plan’s home-delivery service

– Calls the health plan’s nurse line to ask about symptoms or treatments

– Uses online tools to know which local hospitals, medical centers and specialists have the best outcomes for a medical situation

– Understands the cost of medical care ahead of time and how much they will pay out of pocket

– Uses a healthcare flexible spending account to save on medical and drug expenses

– Enrolls in a consumer driven health plan with a health savings account and adding money to the account to save for future expenses

– Adds optional insurance policies, such as critical illness, accident and hospitalization coverage that pays lump-sum amounts to help pay unexpected out-of-pocket expenses not covered by the medical plan

– Understands what help is available through their employer’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Your employees might not know what you mean by consumerism, but they will understand that certain actions will save them money and time while improving their health. That is why it is important to make it easy to know where the helpful tools and resources are for becoming smart healthcare consumers. Ongoing articles, checklists, reminders and examples using personas who are successful healthcare consumers are some of the components of an effective consumerism communication strategy.

Moreover, healthcare communications should be personalized to your benefits plan design and carriers. For example, if you have a health plan, but separate carriers for wellness benefits, prescription drugs and EAP services, the services supporting consumerism should be integrated into one branded communication series so employees can see and connect all the services available to them.

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Groh & Associates specializes in online, in-print and on-point benefits communication using interactive video and print. Contact Groh & Associates at info@grohcomm.com or call 888-510-0955 FREE.  Visit our website at grohcomm.com.