Engaging patients to close care gaps

27 October 2022

As payers and providers focus on improving patient quality and population health as well as reducing costs, patient engagement is a critical piece of the puzzle and one of the most important facets of Triple Aim. But it’s not easy. Millions of patients miss out on essential tests and preventive screenings for a wide variety of reasons.

The Importance of Patient Engagement Strategies

A robust patient engagement strategy is essential to reduce downstream effects of missed tests or screenings, such as worse patient outcomes and higher treatment costs for advanced conditions.

About 25% of U.S. adults don’t regularly see a primary care provider or specialist and may not know what they need. And a 2019 analysis found between $27 billion and $78 billion in wasted costs from missed care opportunities, including skipped tests and preventive screenings.

The reasons for noncompliance are broad. They depend on many factors, including cost, fear, barriers to access and lack of awareness.

Payers and providers that can find effective ways to reach these patients are more likely to close gaps, achieve quality outcomes and meet cost-savings goals. Finding the partner with right fit for your program is key. Labcorp provides a range of engagement options that can help.

Four Key Engagement Strategy Considerations

In our experience, the most effective patient engagement strategies view all engagement workflow touchpoints as opportunities to remove barriers and motivate patients to complete the program. They optimize key factors such as patient experience, communications, access and support—helping to drive efficiencies and improve compliance.

Four key factors in defining a successful engagement strategy

  1. Experience - Personalize the outreach

  2. Communications - Educate the patients about why the screening is important

  3. Access - Make it easy to get the test

  4. Support - Answer questions and address concernst

When defining your engagement strategy, it is important to understand the workflow requirements of your quality program and the role these factors play. This will depend upon the design and goals of your program.

For example, more comprehensive gaps in care programs provide a prime opportunity to maximize patient engagement and response in managing their health. These programs will require a robust engagement strategy that addresses all these factors and delivers touchpoints throughout the process—from engaging patients with early outreach to providing final results.

In contrast, gaps in care programs targeting a specific population, small scale program and/or supplementing an existing program may only need specific touchpoints to help close gaps and improve quality performance due to their limited scope.

Identifying the right fit

Once you have identified your program requirements, you can then use them to select the partner with the best fit for your patient engagement strategy.

Labcorp works collaboratively with payers and providers to define a solution that meets your program needs. Our gaps in care solutions range in scale from a full-service solution to more targeted options that complement existing programs, and all apply a simple three-step process (Engage.Test.Close). Our solutions utilize a patient-centric design and proactive engagement model, and all include the convenience of at-home sample collection.

Our full-service managed program solution is designed for programs that need a more comprehensive engagement approach. This solution provides opportunity for multiple workflow touchpoints as the patient moves through the program journey from initial engagement to results notification. The personalized outreach, patient education, convenience of use and dedicated support help to drive efficiencies and improve compliance.

Our comprehensive engagement approach

  1. Experience - Patients are engaged using the format they prefer, including text, email or paper to personalize their experience

  2. Communications - Patients are educated regarding screening benefits and digital notifications inform patients throughout the process regarding status, including automated reminders—overcoming any barriers

  3. Access - Patients can register for the program online and kits are delivered right to the patient’s home—enabling you to reach patients wherever they are located

  4. Support - Dedicated customer support is available to help patients understand the screening benefits and get started with a kit. When clinically necessary, we also reach out to discuss next steps regarding a result

Meanwhile our targeted solutions are well-suited for programs requiring more focused engagement workflows. These solutions can be coordinated with existing programs, be deployed quickly and scale easily with the organization. There are also flexible ordering solutions with multiple distribution and implementation options to support individual quality program needs, helping to improve program performance.

Closing Care Gaps with Efficient Workflows

Effective patient engagement strategies are essential to overcoming compliance barriers and improving efficiencies for any gaps in care program. Key to a successful engagement strategy is finding the right partner- one that can help improve the effectiveness of your quality program.

Labcorp’s single-source gaps in care solutions are designed with patients, physicians and payers in mind. They include a range of patient engagement options for supporting gaps in care programs, from full-service engagement offerings to supplemental services for existing programs. Their patient-centric design aims to remove significant barriers that lead to gaps in care, helping to improve quality performance and promote better outcomes.

Learn more about how Labcorp can help you address care gaps and engage more patients with our convenient solutions for at-home sample collection.  Contact us today to get started.