How to Empower Employees to Take Control of Their Medical Conditions
It’s highly likely half of your employees and spouses have at least one chronic condition and contribute to a majority of your healthcare spending. In fact, 90% of the nation’s healthcare spending—$3.8 trillion dollars—is due to chronic health conditions. While it’s up to the individual to have the desire to engage with their employer’s chronic condition management programs, it’s also on HR to provide clear guidance and easy access to available resources. There are health and financial incentives for both to engage: lowered out of pocket costs over time, improved quality of life for the employee, controlled medical trend, and reduced absenteeism for the employer. But how do you inspire individuals to engage without being overbearing or seen as self-serving?
Understand your population
One of the first steps is to get to know your employee population and their personal health situations:
- Employees who are not doing a good job managing their condition and are struggling to modify their behaviors.
- Employees who are engaged and enrolled in your programs, but not seeing the results they desire.
- Employees who are happy managing their condition on their own but overspending.
The next step is to empower employees to manage their chronic condition in the best way possible and use the tools and resources available to them.
Centralized access to all information
Healthcare in America is complex and confusing. But providing a central location to outline all your benefits and programs can help alleviate the fear of engaging. Leverage technology to provide information at employees’ fingertips so they can learn and take action. Provide suggested care plans that provide relevant examples to employees. For example, if you have a sleep aid program, provide suggestions on how to get involved and how your medical and pharmaceutical plans interact with it.
Hyper personalized communications
Targeted marketing occurs in everyday interactions between consumers and businesses by connecting people with the products that are suited for them. The same can be true for connecting employees with critical programs based on their conditions. The most effective communications are personalized and transparent. Using a third party, like Tango Health, to analyze your claims data to find exactly who would benefit the most from a program will allow direct engagement with those employees. Make it clear it’s a third party recommending the new program to improve their health and wellness, and that the employer doesn’t have access to their data.
Asking permission eliminates privacy concerns regarding HIPAA data since the employees are consenting to the analysis and appreciate the recommendation.
One path, powered by Tango’s Benefits Explorer technology, guides employees through these steps:
- Receive a personalized email to engage in a program
- Opt-in on a secure website to use their medical and pharmaceutical claims
- Review a list of recommended programs they are prequalified for or take a quiz to qualify
- Engage with a Benefits Coach or the HR team through chat, phone, or email as needed.
Outline the plan for them
User stories are an excellent way to inspire engagement with employees. They connect emotionally by outlining exactly how someone in their situation can not only improve the outcome of their chronic condition, but how the interaction works.
- For new employees: As a part of onboarding, give a clear example of how a new employee with diabetes can find help and success by engaging with your programs. Provide an explanation of the programs, how they can enroll and transfer their prescriptions, and clearly what your plan covers and what it doesn’t.
- Newly-diagnosed employees: Doctors are usually unaware of programs you might offer, such as cancer care support. Outlining how your program differs from their doctor’s care plan is important. Especially since employees may not understand that while their doctor’s goal is to treat cancer itself, your plan focuses on the wellbeing of the employee mentally and physically.
- Employees incurring high out of pocket costs: It can be tricky to help employees who are paying too much for their care (by having unnecessary procedures or going out of network) see another way. Providing clear examples and case studies on your second opinion doctor service, especially highlighting the average time it takes to compare services and average cost savings, will ring true with employees.
Fine line between employer and compassionate HR
There is a fine line between being a compassionate champion of your employees’ wellbeing and being the provider of their employer benefits. Using a third-party to communicate, be a benefits information hub, and recommend programs that could help them manage their health conditions lets you focus on being compassionate and finding additional programs to assist your population.
Learn more about how Tango can help engage employees with the benefits programs that could improve their chronic conditions.
Categorized in: Benefits Communication & Decision Support