New Year’s Resolutions: Are You Ready for Patient Engagement in 2021?

January 7, 2021 | Stericycle Communication Solutions

Eat clean. Run a 5k. Schedule an annual physical. The list of health resolutions is endless. With the new year already here and the given stressors of 2020, many patients have a renewed focus on getting healthy. Between treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and beginning the initial phase of vaccinations, is your health organization prepared to help patients achieve their New Year’s resolutions around preventative care, diet, and exercise? Here are several trends and tips for providers looking to optimize their health and wellness campaigns to maximize patient engagement in 2021.

Learn how we can help keep patients informed, educated, and engaged in their  healthcare. 

Chronic Disease Rates Are High and Education is Not Keeping Pace

An estimated one in four Americans aged 65 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes and one in three has chronic kidney disease—translating to an estimated 15 million people who qualify for nutritional counseling or diabetic nutritional outreach. In 2017, less than 100,000 people with traditional Medicare received this benefit. This no-cost benefit can improve health outcomes for qualified Medicare enrollees and bring added reimbursement to your practice. See how we help with Diabetic Nutritional Counseling.

Additionally, most health systems have a wide variety of classes and events—including disease-specific and virtual ones. Regardless of the class type or venue, patient education offerings require ongoing promotion and support to fill rosters and to help patients achieve their health goals. As the calendar year changes, make sure patients are aware of all the options available to them through your health system. To increase your success, be sure to personalize outreach to patients based on demographics, medical history, physician, service line, location, and more. Learn more about our Class & Event Registration.

Population Health and Health Risk Assessments Are Gaining Importance

As population health initiatives gain momentum, health systems have an opportunity to acquire and retain more patients—and ultimately, improve health outcomes—through increased awareness and outreach.

Utilizing health risk assessments (HRAs) can help patients understand their current health. Health systems can increase service line revenue and optimize HRA strategies through promotional campaigns, follow-up plans, and nurturing that focus on the needs of patient groups and individual patients. Beyond HRAs, health systems should risk stratify their patient population and monitor specific patient groups. Consider offering white-glove treatment or phone outreach to specific high-risk patients. For many with coexisting conditions or for those struggling with mental health conditions, care plan adherence may lapse as they struggle on multiple fronts. The beginning of the year may be a great time to reach out and engage patients with low motivation.

Quality Measures Are Impacting Reimbursement and Increasing Pressure On Providers

Value-based care mandates are shifting financial risk to hospitals and other providers, and merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) quality measures now have a direct impact on Medicare reimbursement rates. By 2022, MIPS penalties will increase to up to 9% annually, putting revenue of $180,000 for every $1 million billed to Medicare Part B at risk1.To prevent penalties, providers will need to conduct campaigns that support the MIPS measures you care most about, including preventative care such as lab work, vaccines, annual appointments, and precautionary screenings.

And because MIPS scores are now available to the public, providers must ensure their care delivery standards remain high as patients will become savvier about care quality, which can influence their provider selection. This increased transparency is translating to increased pressure on providers. See how we can help with MIPS.

Patient Follow-Up Is Increasingly Complex

An emerging and dizzying array of quality measures and reimbursement opportunities can make it difficult for hospitals and healthcare systems to follow up with patients in a timely or effective manner. Plus, a wide variety of educational offerings—individual, group, in-person, and online—make communications even more challenging. Organizations that rely on manual, piecemeal approaches to patient follow-up will fail to optimize patient engagement measures and maximize revenues.

Health systems can take advantage of the new calendar year and achieve their own goals—especially 2021 goals tied to increasing patient access, action, and adherence. To learn how we can help you keep patients informed, educated, and engaged in their healthcare, watch this video on our Health & Wellness Campaigns solution.

 Acquire, engage, and educate your patient population and improve patient outcomes.

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