Three Digital Healthcare Trends to Look for in 2021
(and how to make sure you’re not being left behind!)
December 17, 2020

As we look forward to the advent of a new year, it’s true that many of the challenges of this year won’t magically resolve themselves at 12:01 AM on January 1st. Even so, the healthcare industry does have a lot going for it as we move into 2021. 

Here’s three things payers and providers can look forward to in the new year, and how to make sure you’re on the right track to be ahead of the curve. 

Better health at home

COVID-19 has sped up the adoption of telehealth and digital health solutions as organizations look for ways to care for members and patients safely—allowing individuals to get the care they need at home.

Heading into 2021, 97% of health plan executives agree that improving care at home will be better for both members and insurers. And almost all executives felt that the improvement of digital health has made supporting members outside brick-and-mortar doctors offices even easier. 

While a vaccine will eventually become available, the need for better remote care will not disappear with the pandemic. Digital health solutions remain vital in their ability to reach populations where they are—enabling better disease control between physician visits and better overall outcomes. Afterall, as many have commented, “once you start using Netflix, no one goes back to Blockbuster.”

Effectively improving care at home starts with making sure members have the technology necessary to stay connected. In fact, 25% of members cite the technology required as a key concern about digital health solutions. 

To successfully improve care at home, organizations need to utilize technology that works for members in a way that is easy to adopt, simple to use, and rewarding. Wellth does this by utilizing existing member smartphones to take pictures and complete daily check-ins—tracking medication and care plan adherence without the need for additional connected devices.  Our member support specialists provide concierge support to ensure our members are onboarded onto the program in a way that meets members where they are regardless of their experience with technology, cultural backgrounds, or which disease states they manage.

Higher standard for member satisfaction

The pandemic has exposed gaps in healthcare—not only for plans and providers fighting the pandemic, but for the general public as widespread media coverage highlights some of the shortages our healthcare system faces. 

As individuals become more aware of gaps in healthcare, plans and providers will need to ensure an increased emphasis on member satisfaction. In addition, this importance of member satisfaction is reinforced through the 2021 updates to the Medicare Advantage programs—which quadruple weight member satisfaction scores to comprise 32% of the Stars ratings.

Innovative digital health programs, like Wellth, can increase member satisfaction by promoting healthy behaviors—such as preventative care, care plan adherence, or even exercise and clean eating—and providing meaningful incentives when those behaviors are completed. Wellth averages an 88 Net Promoter Score, showing high member satisfaction for enrolled members. 

As members feel they are being given valuable benefits through their health insurance, their satisfaction increases and plans are able to meet key quality metrics. 

Improved outcomes through value-based care

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telemedicine and digital health, it exposed systemic gaps in healthcare, highlighting a need for fewer siloes and a shift to value-based care models.  Providers who still rely on volumes under fee-for-service models had a disastrous 2020 when all elective procedures, especially high margin service lines like ortho, ground to a halt.

For payers and providers, this shift to value means focusing on better preventative and low-acuity care—and keeping members out of the ED. While the order may seem tall, digital health solutions are stepping in to help providers connect with members at home, track key vitals, or even improve health by establishing healthy habits. 

Wellth works to help its members develop healthy patterns using behavioral economics-based incentive patterns. When members are adherent daily to care plans—taking medications as prescribed, eating healthy meals, visiting doctors for preventative visits, getting the appropriate lab tests, and monitoring their metrics at home—those daily choices compound over time to create long-term benefits. For example, in a randomized control trial with University of Pennsylvania, Wellth was able to achieve 90% medication adherence for enrolled members after an initial heart attack and reduce the likelihood of rehospitalization by 45% compared to the control group.

Learn more about how Wellth can help you get ahead—and stay ahead—in 2021. Talk with us today!