Medicare Advantage is the fastest-growing line of business for many health plans, with enrollment growth of around 8% per year since 2014. And it’s a complex one. Medicare Advantage members represent a diverse range of life stages and needs, from individuals who are 65 and newly retired, to members who are in their 90s.
Health plans that recognize that a one-size-fits-all strategy can’t adequately address the dental expectations and requirements of this unique population and offer a member-centric approach to dental will gain a distinct competitive advantage. And while top-notch operations may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term member-centric, the caliber of your operational infrastructure and processes actually play pivotal roles in your ability to give members a personalized dental experience that improves their oral health.
Here are two ways you can harness the power of dental operational excellence to increase member satisfaction:
1. Leverage technology to make dental more personal
Many Medicare Advantage members are disabled, homebound and/or live in rural areas. Add in a global pandemic like we’re facing as we enter 2021 and the challenge of accessing care, including dental care, can seem insurmountable. It’s no surprise that research points to Medicare members feeling frustrated and isolated.
With the knowledge that members have varying levels of comfort with technology, emerging technological innovations can help some of those members feel more connected to their oral health. These innovations can engage members in simple, personalized ways that help them reclaim a sense of control and encourage them to take actions that can improve their personal health. For example, individualized member portals that empower self-service and adapt based on a member’s background and behaviors are on the rise. Intuitive technologies like DentaQuest’s member portal or Find-A-Dentist tool enable members to access benefit information and locate providers on their own terms. Whether you are leveraging technology innovations to make it easier for members to access dental care, or simply to receive helpful appointment reminders, members always appreciate the opportunity to interact in a more personal way.
Beyond self-service, customer service operations ensure members can easily reach dental benefits service representatives via real-time chat or live conversation. Whether a member needs help finding a dentist, resolving a provider issue, or managing any other needs related to their dental program, they should have 24/7, 365 online access, complemented by live-chat availability in their local time zone in accordance with CMS standards. This ensures that members always know they can connect with a friendly human service professional at their convenience.
2. Use data to deepen member connection
Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan can be a daunting and confusing process filled with an overwhelming number of choices. Once members select a plan, they typically value simplicity and personalized service. They expect their care to be tailored to their needs and delivered in the ways that will drive their best health outcomes. Members want to know that experts are helping them navigate their oral health based on their unique health preferences and priorities.
Member data is an invaluable resource that can help health plans deepen member understanding and make a more personal connection with their Medicare Advantage populations. Robust data analytics and reporting capabilities can identify important member behaviors and utilization patterns in real-time, adjusting dental support and services along the way to ensure members are receiving the highest quality care at the right cost.
A world-class infrastructure built especially for dental benefits management is essential to ease the burden of gathering and processing the timely metrics you need to better serve your members. You should maintain a rich repository of information that helps in the understanding of everything from dental services utilization trends to operational updates on financial claims lag and patient counts. All member-facing systems should be tightly interconnected to capture interactions across portals and live conversations so your administrator can continuously connect the dots to deliver new member insights.
While sophisticated systems and software have a critical role to play, this must be combined with a team of clinical experts who excel at converting program data into actionable knowledge. This team should provide you with in-depth reporting that can inform everything from diagnostic and preventive treatments that lead to better member health outcomes, to operational efficiencies that drive savings for your health plan.
In the end, your ability to deliver an exceptional member experience relies on how well you understand your members and how closely connected you stay to their changing needs. The more robust your data and analytics capabilities are, the more rapidly you will be able to adapt key strategies, innovate new services and personalize member care plans to deliver the level of service and quality they expect.
Whether you are leveraging the latest technologies to bring your members a more personalized experience or diving deep into data to better understand and anticipate their needs, dental operational excellence gives you the edge you need to differentiate your plan.
Have questions about how dental excellence can improve Medicare Advantage member satisfaction? Reach out to one of our experts to learn about strategies that can help your plan stand out in the crowd at https://dentaquest.com/health-plans/contact-us/