Historically, hospitals operated mostly on a fee-for-service approach, meaning that their goal was to deliver the greatest number of services to the greatest number of people. Now, in response to changing markets and shared risk models, hospitals have begun to transition to a value-based model of care.
What is a Value-Based Model of Care?
Value-based care is a financial model meant to improve the quality of care and care outcomes for all patients who enter the health system – while simultaneously reducing healthcare costs over time. In other words, health systems must provide the highest quality of care at the lowest possible cost to the patient, minimizing repeat visits and unnecessary procedures. In a value-based model of care, ongoing wellness and preventative treatment are prioritized.
In a fee-for-service model, or volume-based care, patient treatment is often siloed and doesn’t prioritize care coordination. Value-based care shifts the health system’s focus towards a more holistic view of patient health, connecting departments to improve overall well-being.
There are many potential benefits of value-based care for both providers and patients, including:
- Decreased medical costs, especially for those with chronic conditions
- Increased patient satisfaction and engagement
- Bundled payments that cover full care cycles
- Prices reflecting patient outcomes
- Healthier overall populations
Volume to Value-Based Healthcare: Best Practices for Marketers
Healthcare marketing teams play an important role in helping organizations communicate with patients to optimize a value-based model of care. Marketing teams must be equipped with the right tools, however, in order to reach consumers with relevant content that will improve both engagement and overall experience. Let’s look at three specific tactics:
1. Use Journey Mapping to Create Relevant, Personalized Content
Since value-based care models reward organizations with greater patient satisfaction numbers, it’s more important than ever to create excellent patient experiences throughout the care continuum. One effective way to supplement these efforts is through personalized marketing outreach. Simply by implementing personalized subject lines in promotional emails, marketers saw a 50 percent increase in email open rates.
Healthcare marketers can identify areas along the patient journey that present an opportunity for personalized, proactive communications using patient journey mapping and analytics. Patient journey mapping is a practice that outlines the many touchpoints and interactions that a given patient may have throughout its relationship with a health system.
When patient journey maps are carefully analyzed, they often reveal key areas where communication is lacking and where patients are more likely to turn elsewhere for care. Then, marketers can begin to craft content that reengages the patient at exactly the right time – whether by sending a reminder email about scheduling an appointment, conducting outbound calls to invite patients to a seminar or community event, or launching targeted social media advertising.
Combining journey mapping with personalization is a recipe for a successful patient engagement. To personalize outreach for your target audiences, make sure to use their name and to reach out to them via preferred communication channels, whether that be email, social media, direct mail, phone, or another channel. When possible and appropriate, reference individualized aspects like their medical conditions, location, and previous engagement.
To inform personalization and improved patient experiences, you need a robust, data-driven approach for creating and delivering personalized outreach. First, employ a healthcare CRM (HCRM) to collect, store, and analyze patient data. An HCRM weaves together patient information from various sources to create comprehensive, 360-degree patient views.
With these in hand, you can begin to understand your patients more deeply – including what kind of personalization will appeal to them at which stage along the patient journey. In conjunction with HCRM software, use a marketing automation platform to deliver your HCRM-informed personalized messages at a time that encourages maximum engagement, keeping your organization and value-based initiatives top of mind for patients.
2. Create Clinical Propensity Models to Identify Audiences
Propensity models are statistical analyses used to identify consumers most likely to need a particular service or procedure. There are numerous patient variables that go into creating clinical propensity models, such as diagnostics, visit history, demographics, socioeconomics, and lifestyle choices. Using a statistical approach that considers many variables at the same time, patterns, insights, and outliers are revealed that inform strategic marketing campaigns.
To support the transition from volume- to value-based healthcare, clinical propensity models can be used to identify target populations that your health system is best equipped to treat.
For example, health systems may use clinical propensity models to identify consumers whose behaviors, geographic location, and demographic traits increase their likelihood of requiring a certain type of treatment, such as orthopedic surgery. These models will then place patients into segmented population groups for improved targeting.
By identifying and reaching out to the targeted populations identified by propensity models, health systems can boost clinical conversions and reach patients who are more likely to engage long-term. Once target audiences are identified, health systems can begin crafting tailored communications designed to promote wellness and ongoing engagement – such as educational materials and invitations to community events. For example, communications to an audience with type-2 diabetes may involve emails about nutrition and new glucose monitoring technology.
3. Establish Lifelong Patient Relationships
A key tenet of value-based care is improving overall patient health and wellbeing. To support this initiative, focus marketing efforts around improving retention rates. As mentioned, creating journey maps that outline the ideal customer experience is extremely valuable for successful patient retention campaigns, allowing marketers to identify places where patients may be losing touch with the health system.
This is also extremely important from a revenue perspective, as leakage causes the average practice to lose significant revenue—missed appointments alone costs health systems more than $150 billion each year.
To mitigate gaps in the care experience, health systems need to offer engagement opportunities at points when patients are at risk of losing contact with your healthcare organization. Strategic engagement should be used to bring patients back into your organization’s community via communication such as appointment reminder emails or reminded care calls.
As a result, your health system will enjoy improved retention and better patient health outcomes over the long term. You should ensure all engagement-based communication is educational in nature, personalized with HCRM data, and sent out routinely via a marketing automation tool or a proactive engagement center.
Value-Based Care Puts Patients First
Value-based care is reshaping how healthcare organizations treat patients, charge for services, and measure success. This model is all about putting patients first, so it’s important that the same philosophy is integrated into marketing efforts.
To support the transition from volume-based to value-based care, healthcare marketing teams need to adapt their tactics by focusing on data-informed targeting, personalization, content development, and retention throughout the patient journey. From the first touchpoint to ongoing engagement with long-term customers, marketing plays a key role in the patient journey.
Engaging in value-based care won’t just improve the health of your served populations – it will generate additional revenue, increase efficiency, and optimize your patient lifecycle, helping your organization acquire and retain patients for life.