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Preventing a Cancer Pandemic: Strategies for Getting Members in for Missed Screenings

By Welltok Marketing

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a time to increase awareness of resources to prevent, detect and treat colon cancer, a highly preventable disease that over 150,000 people will be diagnosed with in 2022.

The good news is that preventive screenings – like colonoscopies – can save lives through early detection and treatment, but only if they are completed. The not so good news is that colonoscopy rates are still not back to pre-pandemic levels.

Health plans can play a key role in educating members about eligibility, importance and access to this potentially life-saving screening. In doing so, they’ll support member health, lower healthcare costs and boost quality measures.

So, what are the most innovative health plans doing to drive members to getting colonoscopies and other recommended screenings?

Don’t “Mind the Gap”, Close It
Here are 5 tips from our member engagement experts to help you raise awareness about the importance of getting recommended screenings and how to drive members to complete them. Bonus! More engaged members also mean healthier members, more satisfied members and stronger quality scores.

1. Use data and analytics to identify individuals at high-risk for missing screenings. Don’t wait to see who’s missed a screening before reaching out. Instead, use all available data and predictive analytics to not only help members catch up on missed screenings, but get ahead of future missed appointments.

Virgin Pulse, we’ve helped plans close gaps in care by leveraging consumer data (with up to 1,000 variables and SDOH insights) and predictive analytics to identify who is at risk for missing a cancer screening, likely to respond to outreach, and likely to take action and schedule their screening appointment.

2. Add in new communications channels. A single channel campaign won’t cut it in today’s noisy world. Members need to hear from you in multiple ways. Use a postcard to educate them about overdue screenings, a text for appointment reminders, and an automated voice (IVR) call to educate them about screening options – such as at-home test kits.

3. Communicate early and often. People often need more than one reminder to take action. Multi-cycle campaigns will keep your messages front and center. Start campaigns early and spread your messages throughout the year. In fact, you can boost reach by up to 98% with multi-channel, multi-cycle campaigns!

4. Send smart campaigns with barrier-breaking messages. Asking questions like “Are you sure you don’t want to schedule your colonoscopy now?” will help overcome barriers and motivate members to act.

5. Offer incentives to drive action. Rewards are a proven way to engage people in getting their preventive screenings. We are helping clients integrate rewards – like a $10-25 gift card – into their current outreach program.

Not Another Missed Screening
The time for plans to act is now. The impact of additional missed screenings will only delay the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and contribute to disparities, like higher incidence and mortality rates among African Americans.

Ready to close more gaps in care? Let’s talk!