Improving the Medicare Patient Experience with Conversational Mobile Technology — The Breakthrough at Banner Health

In healthcare, high complexity combined with an extreme amount of regulatory red tape frequently hinder innovation and progress. Despite significant investments in technology, the industry continues to struggle implementing solutions that patients will understand and embrace.

At the same time, more than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day and that is adding tremendous strains on Medicare and Medicaid programs. Innovation will be key, but there are big hurdles in getting elderly patients to engage with modern technology.


Grandmother-friendly IT?

How many times have we heard something like this: “It has to be simple and intuitive in order to work. If my grandmother can’t understand it, it will never work.” If the goal is to engage Medicare patients with technology, grandmother MUST be able to figure it out.

Banner Health sought to find a solution that its population of Medicare seniors could embrace as part of their annual wellness visit — a CMS program designed to keep patients engaged with their physicians on a regular basis. As part of the program, patients are required to fill out daunting questionnaires about their health. The process is cumbersome, frequently resulting in high dissatisfaction rates, missed appointments and frustrated clinical teams.

The Banner Innovation Group (BIG) had experienced success with LifeLink-powered patient engagement chatbots in their Emergency Departments. They are mobile, simple and intuitive. Would seniors embrace an advanced solution like a conversational chatbot to help streamline the annual wellness visit experience?


Breakthrough Operational Value and Engagement with Medicare Seniors

In this episode of Digital Conversations, Greg Kefer was joined by Steve Lindsey, Program Director of Operations at Banner Innovation Group, to discuss how they transitioned their Medicare annual wellness visit patients from clunky paper forms to conversational chatbots. Patients interacted with a conversational bot to complete their Health Risk Assessment prior to their annual wellness visit. The results were significant.

  • 51% of patients interacted with the bot after cold outreach, with no advanced warning

  • The completion rate was nearly 100% … if they started, they completed the process

  • Providers could enter/review HRA data before appointments so face to face time was focused on the patient

  • Among the patients that used the bot to complete their HRAs, Banner saw a 70% decrease in appointment cancellation rates

  • Patients also cancelled appointments less often

  • If patients did cancel, they did it 5 days earlier so the slots could be filled

  • Banner is now rolling the HRA bot across more than 30,000 Medicare patients

Steve also describes the Banner Innovation Group vision of anticipating future needs, designing solutions that create that model of healthcare and how mobile chatbots fit into that picture.

Listen to the full story here:




About the Digital Conversations Podcast Series

Conversational technology and patient engagement are two technology trends sweeping through the three trillion dollar healthcare industry. In these short, interactive discussions, industry experts talk about how and where innovation is impacting the customer experience at hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and the vast array of related services in the industry.

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