How health plans can use self-scheduling

Posted by Mary Tackbary, RN, MSN Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Self-scheduling helps health plans close gaps in care and improve the member experience

No one can argue that self-scheduling of provider appointments is a bad idea. It is like Uber – once someone does it, they keep doing it and won’t go back to the old way. It provides a convenient and fast way to book appointments and corrects a persistent source of frustration and complaints related to access. And as a bonus it improves quality and reduces costs.

However, it isn’t easy for a health plan to determine the best role they should play with this technology. There are many options:

  1. Do nothing – refer members to their PCPs and let come what may.
  2. Add a “schedule now” button in the member directory by those providers who are linked to a branded third party. (Adoption % is in the single digits among providers).
  3. Create a company branded self-scheduling capability using established white-labeled services.
  4. Develop a custom scheduling platform from the ground up.

What is best for your health plan? Do you have the resources to build the entire platform from scratch? Do you have the time? What about doing nothing? Can you afford to sit back while healthcare advances? Recent innovations in healthcare are creating new options.

Based on our experience, leveraging a white-labeled interface allows you to maintain your branding seamlessly, while bringing your scheduling capabilities to the cutting-edge. Customizing an online self-scheduling platform can help you address specific strategies that are unique to the health plan ecosystem. For example:

  • Engage your narrow network – Focus on high-volume providers (by tiers or quality/cost) with a digital network.
  • Close gaps in care – Target specific gaps in care with a digital network of providers. Member outreach enables convenience and ease to scheduling. Our data has shown that the convenience of self-scheduling drives 5x higher completion rates for care gaps.
  • Improve the member experience – Quick, convenient access to care (i.e. booking appointments at the click of a button) will save your members time and ensure a better experience.

If you want to learn more about how health plans can use a digital scheduling platform, we invite you to watch this video by Humana or download one of these case studies:

Topics: Health Plans, Completion Rates, Self-Scheduling, Patient Experience, Consumerism, Provider Networks, Self-service

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