COLUMBIA, S.C. – Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina recently began using a web-based mobile communications platform from Relay Network to allow personalized interactions with its members.
“We know many people have smartphones these days so we have to extend the way we engage with members,” said Sarah Martin, vice president of product and consumer innovation for BCBSSC. “We have to communicate with them the way that works best for them.”
Text messages sent through the platform engage members with information about their health plan, links for finding in-network providers, information about managing a chronic condition, or scheduling an appointment with their physician.
Martin said the insurer still communicates with members through more traditional methods like mail and telephone, but the Relay system allows the company to use demographics and other data to customize the communications.
BCBSSC already had an established member communication strategy, and the Relay platform is an extension of that and part of the payer’s precision medicine strategy, which encompasses virtual visits, telehealth and remote monitoring.
“We knew we had to extend our modalities to become more personalized,” said Martin.
She said the insurer is hoping for a benchmark of 30% overall member use to gauge whether the integration of the platform has been a success.
“We’ll be looking to increase that number as we get more mature with using it,” Martin said.
Relay Network is a provider of mobile customer communications platforms and has seen its number of connected consumers grow more than 200% from 2015 to 2016. The company expects that number to double for 2017, said Matt Gillin, CEO and co-founder of Relay Network.
“We allow health insurers to offer a single, secure channel for self-service, and the significant growth and rapid adoption we have seen among our health care customers makes it clear that this approach is working,” he said.