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How to Close More Care Gaps with a Multichannel Outreach Strategy


For most people, omnichannel experiences are the norm—they expect to interact with brands on their website, on mobile apps, through SMS/text, AI chatbots, phone calls with customer service, and more. According to McKinsey and Company, more than half of consumers engage with three to five channels during each journey they take toward making a purchase or solving a request.

So why should it be any different in healthcare?

While voice-to-voice, live and personal communication is still critical to motivating and persuading members, taking a multichannel approach to boost HEDIS engagement is fundamental. It also shows that you’re putting members’ needs first—and letting them choose how they want to engage with you.

Why a multichannel HEDIS engagement strategy is more effective

One of the most common outreach tools in health plans HEDIS engagement toolkit is the phone call. While it’s true that when it comes to Medicare members, the phone call is still a go-to strategy, it’s also true that getting a member to answer your phone call is another matter.

Despite sophisticated data appends, advanced CRM technology and predictive dialing strategies that can increase contact success by a substantial amount, it is simply harder these days to get people to pick up a phone. According to Pew Research, 8 in 10 Americans no longer answer the phone when an unknown number calls.

This is why a multichannel HEDIS engagement strategy is essential and more effective. By combining interactive voice response (IVR) or SMS/text messaging before attempting phone calls, you can “warm up” or prime a member to interact. You’ve established familiarity so that by the time you do call the member, you’re not only no longer an “unknown number,” but the member is anticipating the call.

Priming members for engagement through text

Text is a powerful communication tool—and shouldn’t be overlooked as a strategy on how to close more gaps in care. Whether you’re trying to schedule preventive care, follow up on missed appointments or schedule annual wellness appointments, text can significantly boost patient engagement.

Not only do 97% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind, but text is also their preferred communication channel. According to recent research, 67% of consumers believe being able to text with a business would increase convenience. Additionally, texts have a 98% open rate, with 95% of texts opened within three minutes. On an engagement scale of one to ten—that’s a ten.

Carenet Health data shows similar engagement levels when conducting HEDIS outreach. Our data shows a 70% member activation rate when calls are paired with text-based engagement solutions.

Putting a multichannel HEDIS engagement strategy into action

While text, phone and IVR may be the most obvious communication channels, the list of digital channels keeps growing. As a result, members are looking for multichannel options so they can choose the channel that meets their needs at the moment.

The Carenet Health’s digital platform offers a number of digital communication capabilities and asynchronous scheduling opportunities to help boost HEDIS outreach and close care gaps. 

Moreover, the platform is unique in that it drives both member and provider action and ensures continuity of care by leveraging:

  • Automation and artificial intelligence
  • Asynchronous appointment setting plus direct bookings
  • SMS/text, email, live outreach and IVR
  • Personalized, proven messaging

If you’re looking for a way to increase your HEDIS engagement scores, we can help. Contact us to start a conversation, or for more best practices on increasing HEDIS engagement, download our Health Plan HEDIS Best Practices Guide.