Building a Portal: Don’t Let the Destination Disappoint

Part 1 of a 3-part series: Give ’em what they want


Ray Kinsella, the lead character played by Kevin Costner in the film Field of Dreams, hears a voice when walking through his corn field which says “If you build it, he will come.” Later Kinsella imagines a baseball field. He builds the field and Shoeless Joe Jackson appears to play catch.

That’s the movies. In real life, simply building something doesn’t necessarily mean the right people will come.

In fact, health plans and third party administrators (TPAs) need to do much more than simply build portals to get members and providers to check into the online destinations.

Here’s our first strategy to encourage constituents to engage with portals:

#1. Don’t let the destination disappoint.

To ensure that portals add value, health plans and TPAs need to identify – and then provide – exactly what members and providers want.

This often means providing access to functions that can offer improved convenience such as online benefit enrollment, ID card validation, online premium payments and primary care provider selection.

Offering some premium functions such as online wellness, care management and telemedicine applications also could drive members to the portal.

Read part 2


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