Today, the average Medicare beneficiary can choose from 43 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. As care continues to move into the home, MA is on track to become a major payer for nonmedical home-based benefits. In fact, over the last year, there was a 35 percent increase in MA plans offering home-based supplemental benefits.

“The payer industry is acknowledging what home care providers have long known,” said Dina CEO Ashish V. Shah in Managed Healthcare Executive. “It is possible to reduce costs and improve the quality of care by offering wraparound non-medical benefits such as in-home support, transportation, durable medical equipment, and nutrition services.”

As health plans confront the logistical challenge of coordinating a network of new services, many are turning to digital solutions to streamline processes and improve the member experience. According to McKinsey, developing the right product and network design is a great start to getting members into a plan, but a significant investment in raising consumer awareness and optimizing the distribution strategy is also required. Here are six steps to improve service delivery to members:

1. Evaluate your Benefits Portfolio

First, take a critical look at your current portfolio. Are there opportunities to differentiate your organization by offering new home-centered services that address social determinant needs or support people with chronic conditions?

2. Use Technology to Activate Service Providers

Next, use benefits and care coordination technology to activate your partners on a shared digital platform. By digitizing the coordination process, you’ll gain real-time visibility into capacity and availability, and reduce the time required to connect members with the right services at the right time.

3. Empower Service Coordinators

The teams that are coordinating services need the resources and tools to keep provider information current. This can include up-to-date information on provider specialties, hours of operation, languages spoken, and more. With this information available and organized, service coordinators can expedite the benefit coordination and delivery process.

4. Make it Easy

Service coordinators and in-home service partners should be able to easily engage and collaborate, and the process should be designed to create a great experience for members. This can include jointly setting performance goals around member care, encouraging partners to validate outcomes with data, and using shared technology to facilitate communication.

5. Evaluate Service Delivery

Leverage data to determine if partners are meeting commitments on member satisfaction and service delivery.  By evaluating service delivery, you can identify areas for improvement, take actions to address them, and, ultimately, improve the member experience.

6. Educate Members 

Lastly, it’s important to educate members about available benefits and keep them connected to the process to determine satisfaction or unmet needs.

Powering Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits with Technology

Investing in technology to manage and coordinate home-based supplemental services is essential for improving connectivity and enhancing the overall member experience. These six steps will help organizations begin their own digital transformation and improve the way they coordinate and deliver care to their members. When done right, this can lead to more healthy days at home, higher member satisfaction and, ultimately, higher rates of retention.

Register for our upcoming webinar “Improve CAHPS Through Enhanced Benefits Navigation” to learn how health plans are leveraging home-centered care to attract and retain members, and to differentiate themselves from their competitors, especially in small or growing markets. You can register via this link.

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