‘For health plans to stay competitive, they should look for ways to partner with innovative companies to generate new ideas and approaches’
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Kevin Kenney, COO of population health platform provider BioIQ, believes health plans should partner with home health companies and use technology to personalize care delivery—empowering consumers to take more of control of their health, improving outcomes and reducing costs.
HHTN: How can health plans use technology to engage members in taking charge of their own health?
KENNEY: One of the most basic ways is by encouraging people to participate in regular health screenings for key health risks like heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer; however, it’s not an easy quest. Reaching a broad array of diverse populations can be challenging and motivating people to change can be even harder. Technology can assist health plans in reaching their members, but it must be used strategically and in a manner that meets the needs of diverse populations and provides plans with the information and connectivity they need to build programs that help them attain performance metrics and optimal reimbursement.
HHTN: How do screenings integrate technology for optimal engagement?
KENNEY: Simply launching a health screening won’t necessarily engage members; the screenings offered need to be tailored to the health needs of the member, communicated in a manner that is most likely to connect with that member and followed up with personalized outreach. The key is to use technology combined with expert data analysis to identify the best communication method and then use a proven technology platform to coordinate outreach, report back responses, send results and follow up.
HHTN: How is technology impacting population health management right now?
KENNEY: Technology provides the guidance and insights necessary to build meaningful and engaging health screening programs. It tells health plans which members have a certain condition, which are at risk, if they’re receiving care, if they’ve received a screening invitation but haven’t taken action, or who their physician is. It’s technology that provides the snapshot of what’s happening and what needs to happen next. Mobile and digital health care technologies are powerful tools for educating members, inspiring them to participate in regular health screenings and supplying convenient methods to help them take an active role in their care, leading to higher compliance and improved health for member populations and increasing quality for health plans.
HHTN: How will technology shape how the delivery of health care looks like in the next 10 years?
KENNEY: Technology can take one or two paths as health care evolves. It can focus exclusively on processes and on making health care more time- and cost-efficient, which some feel is taking the personal touch out of the health care equation. The other pathway for technology is to provide efficiency—a must for our huge system today—and work to provide more personalization to ensure that every outreach a health plan makes to its members is relevant and engaging. Toward that end, we’ll have to ensure that the goals of all participants—member, physician, plan and payer—are aligned. We have the technology and insights to make that goal happen. What health plans need now are partnerships that have the ability, the technology and the organizational drive and commitment to make those goals a reality.
HHTN: How can health plans use partnerships to stay competitive in the future?
KENNEY: For health plans to stay competitive, they should look for ways to partner with innovative companies to generate new ideas and approaches. Home health providers can be the bridge for partnerships because they can create the personal relationship with the members. Home health nurses are the ones in the home talking to members, seeing the home environment and what kind of support a patient may or may not have. The real key is finding a partner which can provide a platform that can link the various participants, like home health professionals, physicians or screening partners, to give the health plan a single unified program, plan and data.