Digital engagement strategy: The key to ACO success

Value-driven healthcare and cost efficiency are not mutually exclusive goals. The digital experience you create for your participants is the engine that drives both. By providing the right kind of digital experience, you help your participants become educated, thoughtful consumers of healthcare who take an active role in their care and wellness. You help them understand their plan and benefits, and you help them make the best decisions for their needs. And in the process, you create greater efficiency and value for your ACO. Below are the critical elements of a successful digital engagement strategy.


ACO success starts with a coherent, cohesive online experience.


When you engage your participants in web and mobile environments, you meet them where they are – online and on the go. And you can empower them with content and capabilities that serve their individual needs. That means providing a portal that is easy to use and navigate in both desktop and mobile environments, as well as a mobile app. The portal and mobile app experience should communicate the roles and responsibilities of the provider, the patient and the health plan in the coordination of care. This lets you educate your participants about their health insurance benefits, the most cost effective avenues of care, and specialized content to empower them to manage their own health, including wellness, disease management and preventive care. In the information age, there simply is no more effective means for collaborating with your participants. Without it, you cannot meaningfully influence their behavior, which is the key driver of the impact you make on overall population health, patient experience and cost reduction.


Your portal and mobile app create a waterfall impact on cost, quality of care and patient satisfaction


They allow you to deliver content tailored to your participants’ needs as individuals and as a population. As they become more empowered, they become major drivers of your cost containment and improved outcomesbecause your medical spend becomes more directed toward improved overall health rather than costly procedures and prescriptive treatments. Achieving this waterfall effect begins with branded online and mobile communication and capabilities.


Developing a meaningful digital brand that resonates with your participants is a critical element


What makes your ACO plan and benefits different and better? How do you articulate that to your participants? Creating a meaningful digital experience demands that you deliver a message that resonates with your participants and differentiates the tangible and intangible value of what you offer they can’t get anywhere else. In a world of increasing direct-to-consumer health insurance, building that trusted brand is increasingly imperative. This experience is the engine that drives the triple aim. It arms your participants with tools and information about how to understand their plan and make the best care choices based on that knowledge.


Empowering your participants to partner with you in the coordination of their healthcare is a critical element in achieving the “triple aim” of patient satisfaction, improved population health and reduced operating costs for ACOs. When your participants are engaged with their health plan, they understand their care options and their benefits and use them judiciously. They feel empowered by the experience, and they become more likely to adhere to their wellness and treatment plans and to seek care before issues become harder to manage. Providing a platform that delivers these tools with this kind of experience puts you in a better position to create value, contain cost and improve the overall health of your participant community.


Mike Gordon is the Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Healthx. He has over 23 years of software and information technology experience with extensive expertise in product development for healthcare payer organizations. His passion is developing innovative, disruptive solutions that will transform the healthcare industry.