Health Dialog Connections

It's not me, it's you: How to painlessly transition to a new care management vendor.

If your care management program is no longer cutting it, maybe it is time to blame your vendor, not your team. Not all care management programs are created equal. But, just because you have a solution implemented, doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. Transitioning to a new vendor may be just what you need to kick your program into an effective gear. Don’t let fear of the unknown or fear of a lengthy transition period scare you into staying with something that just isn’t working. Changing vendors doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. With the right preparation and the right care management vendor, switching to a more effective CM program can save you money, improve results, raise quality, and increase member satisfaction.   

Health Dialog has a wealth of experience assisting health plans transition to our chronic care management solution. In one implementation, Health Dialog transitioned 50,000 participants from four external vendors into one integrated program. The transition happened quickly, smoothly and, most importantly, with no disruption of service to the plan or the members.

Here are some strategies we have learned through our years of experience on how you can easily switch to a new CM program when yours isn’t making the grade.   

Choose a vendor with flexible programming – You may know what is working for you and what is not in your current CM program. Perhaps this time around you want to focus your program on two or three conditions to meet NCQA standards or maybe you want to ramp up identification and outreach to get more impactful results. Selecting a vendor that will work with you to design a program customized to meet your health plan’s goals is critical to having a successful CM program.

Advance collaborative planning – The common saying “failing to plan is planning to fail” can be readily applied to program implementations. Prior to the implementation the vendor and client should collaborate on a documented transition plan that includes items from timing to standardizing data layouts. Ideally, transition planning should also involve communication with the previous CM vendor or program when possible. This minimizes headaches down the road and will make the process smoother and more efficient.

Member communication – Communication with transitioning members is important to eliminating confusion and dissatisfaction. Outreach should explain how the new program works, new tools that may be available, and how the member can reach a Health Coach for questions and support. Mode of communication can also vary based on frequency of contact or clinical risk. For example, members who have interacted minimally with the CM program may receive a simple mailer, while those who spoke regularly with a coach might receive an outbound call.   

Minimize disruption to members – One key goal during a transition of services is safeguarding the clinical status of members reliant on the program. Minimizing the impact of the transition and disruption of services from a member perspective is critical to maintaining quality of care and member satisfaction. In fact, moving to a more effective program will typically ultimately improve these measures. For example, in the Health Dialog implementation example mentioned above, quality standards were closely monitored during the process and, in many cases, improved following the transition. High member satisfaction was also strongly reflected in comments from those participating in the program.

For more information on Health Dialog’s flexible, NCQA accredited chronic care management program, please click here.

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