How health plans can close more gaps in care with digital scheduling

Published: September 24, 2020 by Experian Health

Four in ten Americans live with multiple chronic conditions. For these individuals, life is punctuated with physician appointments, visits to the pharmacy and referrals to different specialists. Their care should be coordinated with orchestral precision, but the reality is somewhat less harmonious. Snail-paced scheduling systems, poor communication and mismatched patient records can lead to a lack of proper support for patients, confusion about how the care plan is managed, and potentially dangerous (and costly) gaps in care. For health plans, quality markers are missed and incentive payments start to dwindle.

To help close these gaps, health plans must embrace a more innovative, consumer-focused approach to care coordination. Digital scheduling platforms make it easy for call center agents to help members find and book appointments, eliminating the need for a three-way call between the member and provider. Members are much more likely to be placed with the right clinician, at the right time and for the right appointment, while health plan call centers can operate far more efficiently. The automation and data integrity of digital systems makes it much easier to track and book appropriate post-discharge appointments and routine care management.

Digital scheduling has the potential to improve health outcomes, drive up operational efficiency and yield big savings down the line. It’s about more than just matching consumer expectations, though a great member experience is certainly a competitive advantage for health plans. Better coordinated care could be life-changing for patients with chronic conditions. And with more members switching plans and seeking call center support in light of COVID-19, there’s a short-term urgency to tighten up communications and direct members to the care they need. Could a digital scheduling platform help your health plan close gaps in care and create a better member experience?

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