Customizing Healthy Choices

Customer Experience
Customer Experience

Faced with the need to provide customers a greater volume of information, one healthcare company chose to ensure the communications it sent out were more relevant and targeted as well.

Three years ago Humana was forced to shift its messaging to customers when the Medicare drug act created Medicare Part D. Prior to that time, Humana's 7 million subscribers received periodic updates about plan information and news. After more than 4.5 million customers signed up for Medicare Part D within 10 months, and because of the industry regulation changes that came with the new program, Humana began personalizing its member communications.

Today the insurer sends out more than 3.5 million personalized statements every month using Exstream Software's Dialogue. The information that was spread over 30 different mailings is now consolidated into one monthly communication.

"Our number one goal now is personalized messaging," says Christopher Nicholson, Humana's director of strategic communications. "We have more information about our customers than even their physicians do, and we want to use the insight to add value to their lives and tie messaging to things they're interested in."

With that sentiment in mind, Humana also created the SmartSummaryRx, which shows members exactly what prescriptions they take, when their last refill was, and what medications interact with others. Nicholson says it's a big hit with customers who need to keep track of multiple prescriptions, doctors who can easily see what their patients are taking, and family members who care for older relatives.

"It's also great for Humana, because we were able to tell our customers individually how much they could save if they switched to generic drugs or ordered their medications through our mail-order program," Nicholson says. "The Rightsource delivery program already has 300,000 members, and it didn't exist two years ago."

Measuring Results

Humana carefully tracks how customers view SmartSummary, SmartSummaryRx, and any new communications the company tests. Nicholson says he looks at Net Promoter Score, as well as member satisfaction, retention, and overall experience.

When Humana tested the SmartSummary program, the NPS score for the group that received the personalized statements was 17 percent higher than the control group. The company not only gave customers added value, it saved $10 million on its Medicare communications in the first year, Nicholson says.

When Humana created SmartSummaryRx, it targeted three medications for its campaign to encourage members to switch from brand name to generic. More than 40 percent of the customers who were notified how much they could save switched to the less expensive medication.

Customer Reaction

The response from Humana's customers, many of whom take more than one prescription medication and visit the doctor frequently, was overwhelmingly positive, Nicholson says. One customer told a Humana employee she met at an airport that she was allowed to board with her medication thanks to the SmartSummary Rx. Another told an employee that she keeps her list of medications from Humana with her at all times in case something happens, so that paramedics or her children know what prescriptions she takes. And in a letter to Humana's CEO, a customer said, "I recognize how much expense is involved with printing individual statements, along with the mailing costs. IT IS WORTH IT and truly represents your expertise in the insurance field. Proud to be a Humana subscriber."