Guest Post: Creating Value through Effective Member Engagement in 2014

kellmore_largeBy Kathleen Ellmore, Vice President, Consumer Engagement, Silverlink Communications

With the advent of the ACA, consumerism has become both mandatory and immediate. Creating value, especially in the eyes of the consumer, will be a tremendous opportunity for health plans and others in 2014.

Engagement through communications will be key, especially since healthcare insurance is an abstract product. Consumers can now vote with their feet in the same way they operate with the rest of retail world. Effective communications give health plans the ability to create proactive, cohesive, engaging experiences that will validate the consumers’ plan choice, as well as build trust between the plan and its membership.

Data management and analytics will increase in importance. While health plans already have a variety of data, they now need to capture the new class of engagement data to understand what is motivating members to change behavior. Tools and technology to capture, analyze and share the combined data and insights across the organization will be critical. Once plans unlock the secrets of behavior change on both an individual and aggregate level, they will have the keys to solve the complex equation of improving health and lowering costs.

Becoming member-centric is a company-wide sea change. Understanding and respecting consumer preferences will be a “must-have” for competing in the new world of healthcare consumerism. In addition to gathering language, channel and frequency of communication preferences, communications need to be coordinated across all channels and departments to speak with the member in one voice.

Increasingly, consumer health engagement will be mobile, fast and personal. Multichannel efforts will continue as proven vehicles for smart, results-oriented communications and member engagement. According to a recent infographic from mobile services company GreatCall, 52 percent of smart phone users already gather health-related information on their phones. Additionally, 83 percent of participants in a recent health consumer engagement program completed by Silverlink indicated that SMS text messages helped them think about or make lifestyle changes such as eating better or getting more exercise. Finally, consumer research is going to be an avenue of change. Gathering consumer attitudinal and behavioral data will provide additional opportunities for health plans to know their members and understand what consumers perceive as relevant value.

Undoubtedly, the industry is on the verge of an historic change and evolution. Many plans are redefining their member relationships to drive lower costs and create value through becoming more member-centric. As we move through 2014, effective consumer engagement will lead to improved health, the best value of all.


Kathleen Ellmore is Vice President, Consumer Engagement, at Silverlink Communications, the proven leader in engagement management solutions for healthcare organizations. Our solutions enable health plans and other key stakeholders to engage and support their members in smarter and more effective ways. We deliver better control, coordination and effectiveness in member communications to promote healthy and loyal behaviors.To learn more about what makes Silverlink the leader in consumer health engagement, please visit, email, or call 1.781.425.5700.


Guest Blog Post Disclaimer CCA invites guest bloggers to post on Voice of Population Health Blog as a benefit for our members and the industry and to allow for exchange of ideas and information regarding population health. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and/or of the company the author represents and do not represent those of the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA), its members, or the industry as a whole. CCA is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this guest post article. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author(s) and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.


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