Healthcare service aims to make industry more transparent

Company helps employees make beneficial care decisions

Navigating the health insurance landscape isn’t easy. Recently  we published a blog post that cited dozens of studies reporting that Americans make mistakes when selecting a health insurance plan and, as a result, pay more money than they should. Not understanding the basics of health insurance proves to be a major reason why Americans fail to make the right decisions.

That’s why companies like Compass Professional Health Services exist. Compass works exclusively with organizations such as Southwest and Dillards, to manage their employees’ medical, dental, and vision plans. It serves to help employees make cost-effective healthcare decisions, take preventative measures to reduce expensive and life-threatening diseases and connect to high-quality providers who support population health efforts.

We caught up with Jordan White, a senior consultant at Compass, to learn more about the organization’s plans to redefine the healthcare game. We think hospital marketers can leverage this insight to help with their marketing efforts. Here are three major takeaways from our conversation.

1. An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Jordan aids clients with tedious tasks such as selecting a brand new primary care physician for them or their families. Clients often come to her when they move to a new area and have no idea where to look for a doctor.

Compass provides clients with an “elite” group of doctors that have taken the initiative of “reducing excessive visits and spending.” The company compiles a list of these doctors based on a quality algorithm. According to Compass’ website, it found that higher-quality physicians minimize patients’ average total healthcare costs over the course of a year. So it’s good for them and good for business.

Insight: higher-quality care = fewer trips to the doctor. If employers are aiming to increase their employees’ quality of health and consequently reduce the amount of care they receive, the competitive market is bound to heat up. It’s imperative to find your hospital’s point of difference and market its primary care services in a compelling way. Humanize your physicians; show them outside of their lab coats and inside the community. That is one way to stand out from competitors and engage audience members on a more personable level.

2. Consumers aren’t aware of their best option

Compass aims to make the healthcare industry as transparent as possible. One way Jordan does this is by helping her clients compare prices before they select where to receive care. A common misconception, she said, is believing that hospitals are the optimum place to go for a routine procedure. For example, she said, clients often perceive hospitals as the only place they can get an MRI and are unaware of independent imaging centers that are less expensive.

“It is people’s tendency to go to the hospital because a hospital is better, they don’t realize there can be thousands of dollars in differences,” she said.

Insight: hospital = expensive. Receiving care at a hospital might cost a consumer more money, however, if you provide better customer service and higher-quality care you have an advantage over competition. Customer service ranges from user-friendly websites to helpful administrative assistants who greet patients at the door. If your organization is providing friendly and efficient customer service, then patients might be willing to pay a little more.

3. People generally don’t have the time to review their medical bills 

Sometimes clients contact Jordan when they receive a bill that seems suspiciously high. Even if they think all charges are correct, clients like to have a second set of eyes on a bill to make sure it wasn’t processed incorrectly. She said this type of auditing can take hours, especially when conversing back and forth with an insurance agency. Many of her clients don’t have time during the day to do that.  “We take that stress and burden off of our clients,” Jordan said.

Insight: medical bills = frustration. Chances are one of the biggest complaints your hospital receives is about its medical billing. Remember, not every consumer has access to services such as Compass. Why not simplify medical bills and make them easier to understand? Change the format and the language so it’s legible and more approachable. If the bill is easier to read, perhaps your healthcare organization will be perceived as  consumer centric and maybe payments will be made sooner, too.