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How MCOs Can Create Reward Programs that Drive Engagement

Rewards serve as the primary tool for Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to incentivize healthy behaviors by their members. However, despite the investment some health plans put into these programs, they don’t always reach their intended goals. Rewards are used to promote healthy behavior to drive completion rates, but results are sometimes disappointing. If this has happened to your organization, don’t drop the idea of using rewards just yet. Instead, here are three ways you can create a rewards program that drive the results you want.

When rewards programs under-perform, the problem stems from two sources: how the program is set up and how the program is communicated to your members. A few minor course corrections could be all you need to see dramatic, effective results. When you are creating your Medicaid members rewards program, design it so that it is:

  • Experiential
  • Signaling a value-driven behavior
  • Desirable to your members

The following sections break down each of these elements of effective reward programs in more detail.

Provide Experiential Rewards

There are two different types of reward programs that MCOs can enact: transactional and experiential. Transactional rewards are common and frequently used and offer cash or financial benefits to members for completing specific tasks. Experiential rewards provide a unique benefit for members by providing them a non-financial/transaction gift. Experiential rewards not only help MCOs craft unique reward programs by offering incentives their members care about, but they are also far more effective.

Experiential rewards better drive engagement for members because of a psychological phenomenon called mental accounting. This refers to the value individuals place on the impact of a reward. Simply put, a unique experience is more memorable to members than a transactional incentive. This will help them recall the event and be more likely to complete more tasks for other experiences in the future.

Connect Rewards to Values

What is the value that you are trying to drive for your members? How is your experiential reward going to help reinforce that value? These are the two questions to answer when designing the unique experiential rewards for your organization. For example, if you were trying to encourage healthy behaviors among your members, offering a yoga session or meditation class helps make the association between the reward and value stronger, and therefore, more effective.

Make Rewards Desirable

In our recent conversation with BJ Wiley Williams, CEO and Founder of SoHookd, she said that two-thirds of MCO members view reward programs as antiquated. They are not desirable enough for members to change their behavior. This helps to answer why transactional rewards are not as effective.

Heath plans can make their rewards more enticing to their members by providing various options and personalization. Especially during these pandemic times, offering experiential rewards both in-person and virtually helps make them appealing to more members. Further, if you provide a variety of different options rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, it will make your reward program seem more personalized and customizable.

Revamp your rewards programs with these factors in mind to drive the engagement rates your MCO wants. For more information on how to best facilitate this change, learn how Sagitec’s HealConnect solution to help.

Drive Engagement with HealConnect

Topics: Reward Programs