EngageME Aims to Improve Communication Between Patients and Insurers
Population health software provider Welltok has launched EngageME, a new program designed to streamline communication between patients and payers. The program seeks to address the problem of over-communication, where patients who are bombarded with multiple emails, phone calls, text messages, and letters from insurers end up exhausted and unsure which communications are the most important and which are safe to ignore.
“Not only were we part of the solution to help communicate, we were becoming part of the problem — part of the problem being over communication in an uncoordinated fashion to members,” AnneMarie Gramling, senior vice president of engagement services at Welltok, told MobiHealthNews. “We started to look at how to help solve for that problem. We don’t want to communicate just to communicate. We want to get the right message across at the right time so we help someone take the next step in their [healthcare] action.”
The program aims to reduce the number of communications patients receive from insurers by providing an inter-departamental platform that allows insurers to ensure that patients are not receiving redundant emails from different departments.
Oftentimes different departments don’t communicate with each other — for instance, someone in billing may not know that their colleague over in customer service just sent out an email. This platform seeks to change that by letting everyone in the company see when a patient last received a communication.
“Most of our clients are pretty siloed,” Gramling said. “It is a very common structure to operate that way. They don’t have tools at their disposal to really show them holistically all the messages that are happening and the timing and the intention.”
The platform will also help companies look at different demographics and see if there is a particular population that is receiving an overload of information. It will be able to pinpoint groups that are not getting much communication, so that the company can then reach out to these folks. It will also let the insurer see what mode of communication the patient responds to best, so that they can communicate through that medium in the future.
Gramling argues that when patients receive too many communications from their care providers and insurers, important information can get lost in the shuffle. Providing better organizational systems to insurers, she argues, can help them make sure patients are up-to-date and informed about their care in a productive way.
“You can actually put the tool back in the hands of our clients and give them visibility,” Gramling said. “It’s about bringing the volume down so you don’t drown out the things that are really critical.”