Though some Managed Medicaid plans (MCPs) pay for outreach efforts, most of their payments for ECM and CS services are contingent on successful enrollment. Improving outreach to connect with patients with complex medical and social needs requires a multifaceted approach, and community providers often find that it takes a lot of time to get the member enrolled. Here are some strategies that can help improve the effectiveness of their outreach to their targeted patient population:
Utilizing technology to meet them where they are:
Utilizing technology, such as text messaging can be a useful tool for outreach, as it provides a convenient and accessible way to communicate with patients. With bi-directional texting, the outreach teams can schedule in-person appointments, share educational materials about the program, and communicate sensitive health information.
Texting can be used to gather electronic consent and survey responses (PHQ-9 and PRAPARE etc.) from patients, for quick (er) enrollment.
Culturally relevant communication refers to communication that is tailored to the cultural background and experiences of a specific patient population. By taking into account the cultural beliefs, values, and customs of each patient, the outreach teams can improve communication, and build trust, for faster enrollment.
For example, for some populations, it may be important to consider their language preference, as many may prefer to speak Spanish. For some others, it may be important to understand the historical context of mistrust of the healthcare system. For many populations, it may be important to understand the cultural beliefs and practices related to health, such as the use of alternative and complementary therapies.
Engaging community partners
Engaging community partners, such as faith-based organizations and patient advocacy groups, can help improve outreach by reaching patients where they are. This can be achieved through regular meetings and shared projects, and by working together to identify and address the needs of the target population. The outreach teams can also share educational materials on ECM and CS, provide training to the staff of these organizations, do co-branded events, and participate in regular meetings, focus groups, or community events to increase the effectiveness of their outreach.
Data integration and sharing
Establishing trust with patients is key to improving outreach. This can be done by making a personal connection with patients, being responsive to their needs, and treating them with respect and dignity. When possible, CBOs can ask from MCPs, FQHCs, and other ECM providers for medical records, and review them to gather information about their health history, social and economic circumstances, and any other factors. This information can be invaluable for them to initiate a conversation with the patients.
Sprite Health’s whole-person care platform includes patient engagement tools to meet them where they are and stay connected with bidirectional omnichannel communication. Our cloud-based, data-driven platform enables healthcare organizations to integrate physical, behavioral, and social care around the specific needs of each member. Connect with us to learn how our end-to-end unified solution can help you achieve better and more equitable outcomes for your members.