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Last week, I had the pleasure of introducing David Brady and Chris Fanning from Geisinger Health Plan at the Health Plan Marketing and Consumer Innovation Summit in Orlando. The duo, who have been working together for more than a decade in the health insurance industry, presented “Geisinger Health Plan’s Digital Strategy to Improve Quality, Control Cost and Improve Member Experience” to a jam-packed room of conference attendees.

laptops and devices on tableThe experience Geisinger shared is one that most health plans can relate to – addressing the central question of how to best use technology to meet company goals and member needs (while exceeding their expectations). The goals driving the work they undertook included being a nationally recognized brand, achieving high CMS and NCQA ratings, and lowering the total cost of care.

To begin, the team used a human-centered design firm to help them with customer journey mapping and to better understand what members really want from their health plan. One major issue that Geisinger was well aware of, but came into focus even more clearly through this process, was its antiquated website. Fanning, who is Geisinger’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, recounted how it previously took his marketing team more than a month to make a simple change to the site and that the sales team would not even share the website url with employers! Needless to say, it was to everyone’s thrill that a complete digital redesign began.

Fanning told the audience: “We got complete buy in on the project because it was the right thing to do for members. Now, marketing can update the site instantly, we have analytics to understand behavior, the site is mobile responsive and more. We’re proud of how far the digital experience has come.”

Brady, who is a senior consultant for this digital initiative, touched on an important function of the site that was also giving members a less than ideal experience: the online provider directory. Geisinger Health Plan partnered with HealthSparq last year to roll out a new search experience and he shared some comments from users:

“It’s more streamlined and user-friendly.”

“Much smoother and easier to use for sure!”

“…a great touch to help members find a PCP or doctor that meets their needs.”

Brady also shared the next phase of Geisinger’s partnership with HealthSparq, which includes cost transparency and treatment timeline, as well as a rewards program that will incentivize members to choose cost-effective, high-quality providers.

“We’re very excited about these enhancements to our digital experience,” said Brady. “Our members want more control over their health care experience and HealthSparq is helping us provide that.”