Consumerism 4.0 is upon us and people have quickly come to expect the benefits of its engaging and intuitive digitized experiences. Powered by what many consider to be the fourth industrial revolution, the digitization of goods and services affords personalized consumer-driven interactions. Employers are on the cusp of leveraging 4.0 technologies to empower employees as consumers and ultimately drive a more cost efficient and personalized healthcare experience. Are you ready?
At Mercer, we continue to advocate for healthcare transformation, placing people at the center by adopting four “Vitals for Change”: drive to quality care, pay for value, usage of tools to personalize the experience, and the necessity – in all of these efforts – to embrace disruption. A thoughtfully designed strategy powered by a digital solution that delivers a seamless experience across physical, behavioral, and financial health can make these vitals a reality.
As the explosion of consumer digital health applications is rapidly changing expectations, the time to rethink the experience for health and benefits is NOW. The “4.0 consumer” expects on-demand access, personalization, actionable insights, reference/peer based reviews, and more. Employers need to design and deliver strategies that support this new experience to improve the value from their health and benefits investments.
So how can you do it?
- Improve outcomes: Creating a sustainable cost model is important, but without improving the health outcomes for your employees, cost gains are temporary or merely a shift in risk. Consider personalized approaches that guide people as they navigate the complex healthcare system – helping them find quality providers, access alternative modes of service e.g. tele/text health, obtain hard to find services for behavioral health, and assist with pharmacy choices.
- Simplify the experience: Research shows that despite significant investment, employee benefits are still largely misunderstood. You can redesign the experience to take the guesswork out of benefits elections, apply best practices, and empower your employees in the moments that matter. This means making sure employees have year-round access by phone, app, chat, or an AI-powered “bot” to get their questions answered. And, simplification isn’t just for employees and their families: consider the needs of your HR team for access to real-time data and simplified tools that allow them to make fact-based decisions on plan design and engagement.
- Be future ready: While consumerism is here to stay, it’s important to build not just for your workforce today… but to design the plans, experiences, and tools you’ll need for the workforce of the future. Watch our new video on how we are preparing for the healthcare consumer of tomorrow, today.
Author: Sharon Cunninghis, US Health Leader