Medical advancements are reaching new heights thanks to innovations in the healthcare tech arena. But what about how you as a plan sponsor and your employees are accessing healthcare to make the most of these advances?
Digital transformation is revolutionizing both direct-to-consumer and direct-to-employer healthcare offerings. Here are three ways digital innovation is transforming the healthcare sector, making it easier for employers — especially those with self-funded plans — and their employees to maintain wellness, reduce absenteeism, and minimize costs:
1. Technology is improving both employer and employee satisfaction.
A monumental outcome of the healthcare industry’s rapid digital transformation is its capacity to improve customer satisfaction. The best part? It does so at every level: individual patients are more satisfied with their coverage and providers, and plan sponsors also experience greater satisfaction with their self-funded plans.
At the employee level, advancements like patient portals and member self-service platforms make it easy for patients to schedule appointments, find in-network providers, refill prescriptions, receive test results, and communicate with their providers. Digitizing the intake process saves patients time and stress by allowing them to complete forms on their own time before their appointment. Virtual appointments make it much easier for patients with busy schedules to avoid time-consuming travel or those with children to arrange childcare.
But digitalization isn’t just increasing employee satisfaction for organizations opting for self-funded care — it is also saving them time and money. Annual health visits help patients recognize risk factors before they become larger problems. In addition, yearly vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, reduce the likelihood that patients will become sick and have to miss work. Through their TPA relationship, plan sponsors can now send push notifications to remind patients about their upcoming appointments and give nudges when it’s time to schedule an annual visit or vaccination. After receiving a push notification reminder, patients can even make appointments directly within their patient portal.
Furthermore, patients can use their portals to ask providers questions and request prescription refills. Digitizing these communications expedites care and eliminates the expense of an office visit.
Other technological advancements, such as fitness trackers and apps, encourage patients to be more engaged in their health — increasing the potential for healthier individual practices, such as regular exercise. According to a recent study, middle-aged patients who exercise regularly tend to save an average of $824 to $1874 on healthcare costs annually. Another study from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science suggested that apps and wearable devices could save the US healthcare system $7 billion per year. The data shows that patients who are more engaged in their health can often avoid escalation in medical care, further reducing absenteeism for employers.
2. Digital innovations allow companies to reimagine product development.
Digital innovations allow for greater customization of healthcare plans, as technology can now gather robust and accurate data to inform product development decisions. Technology-powered data analysis and greater transparency into employees’ benefits usage offer greater capacity for customization and greater potential that plans are cost-effective.
Self-funded plans featuring robust technology customization, in particular, are smarter than before, and are no longer just for large corporations. TPAs can collect data on how employees interact with their benefits and coverage. Empowered with this data, they can advise companies on how to make their benefit plans more cost-effective and more aligned with their employees’ needs. A technology-led quality TPA knows how to harness data to tailor each self-funded plan to its sponsor’s population and budget. For employers with complex needs, such as those with Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) plans, technology is a true game changer, making it easier to track employees’ hours and keep accurate records.
Technology also enables TPAs and their clients to be proactive, leveraging employee usage data to drive participation in wellness initiatives. If employers notice a high incidence of diabetes or cholesterol medications, they may institute positive behavior modification programs, thereby promoting greater employee wellness while also inciting lower long-term medical costs.
3. Technology drives productivity.
In nearly every industry, technology is improving administration — driving productivity, reducing human error and omissions, and cutting costs by slashing manual repetitive tasks. The healthcare industry is no exception. Healthcare providers’ admin costs can be contained, if not lowered, as patients can now self-serve, accessing the information they need 24/7 from within their portals. Digitized patient onboarding eliminates the need for manual input, and lowers paper and storage costs. And with digitized files and forms, it is easier and faster to do any multitude of tasks, including locating files, sending bills, processing online payments, and much more.
Technology makes it easier for self-funded plan sponsors to:
- Pay invoices and track payments
- View open, pending, and paid claims
- Automate enrollment
- Handle eligibility by employee type, hours worked, and more
- Collect employee hours
- View statuses and run reports in real-time
And for their employees to enjoy similar ease, such as the ability to:
- Check claim statuses
- View benefits enrollment and details
- Search for providers
In the hands of tech-led TPA, these digital advancements have the power to dramatically reduce administrative strain on plan sponsors, spur productivity, and significantly rein in costs.
Learn how MagnaCare’s innovative technology can transform healthcare for you and your employees.
MagnaCare’s award-winning advanced technology platform modernizes self-funded plan administration. As a TPA technology leader, we remove the burden of managing enrollment, benefits, and claims and create ease with one intuitive interface. With MagnaCare as the TPA, plan sponsors get customized and affordable plans and all the support they need to elevate their employees’ health and engagement. Contact us to learn more.