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How to Set-up Your Rewards Programs to Change Member Behavior

There's the old saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) know this difficulty when encouraging healthy, positive behaviors among their members. From completing health assessments to performing wellness tasks, getting members to act on compliance requirements is a costly and time-consuming affair.

This is a problem for MCOs because non-compliance results in revenue loss and potential corrective action by regulatory agencies. To boost completion rates on health screening assessments (HSAs), many Medicaid plans turn to traditional outreach options such as phone calls and mailers. It's difficult to track the effectiveness of these methods, and they often lead to poor results.

Sagitec's HealConnect offers a different option. Its digital outreach methods allow members to complete their HSA independently – leading to both higher completion rates and lower costs. Most importantly, it's proven to be successful. Learn how we helped one MCO boost completion rates by over 40% by reading our case study.

See How HealConnect Boosted Completion Rates 

Other than outreach methods, MCOs also need to ensure that their reward programs are tailored to change member behavior effectively. This is done by executing on three core competencies:

  • Attracting Member Buy-in
  • Meeting Strategic Aims
  • Awards that Garner Interest

Member Buy-In

Reward programs only work when members are engaged. However, this isn't an easy thing to achieve. The average American belongs to 14 different reward programs but only actively participates in five. When rewards programs fail, 80% of the time, it's due to poor design, implementation, or type of reward.

A poorly designed reward program means that the reward doesn't reinforce the desired behavior. Further, the connection will be lost if the reward follows too far behind the desired behavior. The implementation is poor, and the behavior won't be repeated. Lastly, and most dangerously of all, if the reward doesn't capture the member's interest, then the desired behavior won't activate at all.

Awards that Engage

How can MCOs choose the right reward program for their organization? By asking the right questions. Your members know what they want and what interests them. Whether or not your organization knows these answers as well is the question.

There are two types of awards for MCOs to choose from: transactional and experiential. Transactional rewards are often financial incentives to spur behavior among members. Receiving discounts on gym or spa memberships is a typical example. Experiential rewards create unique experiences and memories for members that reward them for positive behaviors. These second types of rewards are far more impactful. As you design your organization's rewards program, be sure to swap out transactional rewards for experiential rewards and ask your members what type of experiences interest them the most.

Meeting Strategic Aims

What actions do you want your members to complete? Why did you choose those actions? Does your reward program communicate the connection between the behavior and the reward? The overall goal of these programs is to create, build, and reinforce the right habits. Rewards are so effective at doing this that companies spend over $125 billion a year on these programs, and this number is expected to grow by 7% per year. But your organization will only see the return on this investment if the right strategic structure is in place – one that ultimately ties back to what you're trying to achieve.

While you can't make the horse drink once you lead him to water, you can properly incentivize him to do so through a rewards program. The best programs build on the interest of their members, promote the right type of reward, and meet the healthy behavior goals of the organization. To learn more about how you can better communicate your rewards program to your members and become a Medicaid member champion, visit our HealConnect page through the link below.

Topics: HealConnect Medicaid