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Reward-based system motivates health plan members to become active in their health care decision-making

PORTLAND, Ore., November 1, 2016— HealthSparq, a company committed to helping people make smarter health care choices, launched a new suite of tools today, including alerts and rewards to encourage more health plan members to better navigate their health care shopping options.

The new engagement-focused offering includes the following suite of tools, available through HealthSparq One, a platform which already gives health plan members the ability to shop for their providers and procedures based on price and quality metrics:

  • Rewards program: Health plans can incentivize users to make smart health care decisions by offering users a financial reward if they choose a more cost-conscious option.
  • Messaging: Health plans can alert members to their rewards opportunities — and options to save money overall — through a secure messaging platform within the tool or through a plan’s messaging system.
  • Claims-based alerts: Health plans can tailor the alerts based on each user’s unique health plan to inform people of where they can save money based on procedures that they are due for, or seek regularly.

The company built the new tools after exploring in-depth the behaviors of current HealthSparq One users. The goal of the new tools is to better engage new members, and incentivize all members to seek their most cost-effective options for their care.

For example, for a woman over 50, the system may provide a messaging alert notifying her that her annual mammogram is due, and that she could receive a $50-$100 gift card reward if she visited a lower-cost doctor or place of care while getting the same procedure as she would at a higher-priced location. Rewardable treatments and reward amounts are informed by the company’s proprietary rewards calculator, along with data from a M Health survey commissioned by HealthSparq. The surveyof 500 people aged 18-64 with a PPO or high deductible health plans, shows that 64 percent of people would be motivated to select a different doctor if they could receive $50 to $100 rewards in return.

“The average U.S. household participates in 22 loyalty programs, and we believe that these natural tendencies to save money — and earn rewards in the process – can also apply to health care,” said Torben Nielsen, senior vice president of product and strategy at HealthSparq. “With our new suite of tools, health plans can help their members understand their cost savings opportunities for high quality services, and easily earn rewards for taking advantage of them. They can also address relevant concerns and drive desired actions more effectively through a personalized claims-based system, to help people find the care they need.”

This year, HealthSparq published its first-ever Health Care Shopping Trends Report, to increase industry-wide awareness of the ways in which people are shopping for their care. With this knowledge, HealthSparq is developing a more engaging platform that encourages participation. This company is focused on helping to create a more streamlined health care system that provides users with easy access to the information that they need.