Health plans and medical suppliers can tame seasonal spikes in Little Red Hen style

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Summer’s here! The sky is blue. The grass is green and the birds are singing. While nature is going gangbusters at this time of vibrant renewal, many healthcare companies do the opposite: We slip into a hazy lull as though we’ve earned some quietude after a hectic period of high activity.
Is this OK or is there a better path to consider? Stay with me as we take a cue from The Little Red Hen.
If you are a Medicare Advantage Plan, your annual membership growth is a direct result of the number of enrollees you can sign between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. These dates often run parallel with employer-sponsored plans. And just when you think you’re out of the thick of it, here comes “Welcome Season,” which spans from January through March, when new members become familiar with their benefits and flood the contact center with service-related inquiries.   

The trickle-down effect from these annual payer-related cycles impacts other healthcare providers as well.
Medical suppliers see a significant surge when servicing patients under the medical benefit. In the last quarter of the year, medical product ordering can increase 25% versus the summer months as patients load up on product before the January deductibles reset. Not to mention the laborious process of re-verifying every patient’s insurance and eligibility in Q1 to capture any health plan changes that may have occurred from Q4.   
Resources may seem as scarce as hen’s teeth but we can’t lose sight of retention. The only way to fortify retention is to ensure member interactions are high quality throughout the year.
“Do more with less” can be a hard pill to swallow when your production staff put in overtime to cover an enormous spike in volume over the holidays and your customer and employee satisfaction scores are in the dumps.
Consider a more proactive approach just like The Little Red Hen in the celebrated fable. Little Red remained laser-focused working on her long-term goals while the other farm animals took Summer siestas instead. When the cooler months arrived and the food supply was dwindling, Little Red was stocked up while the others scrambled to feed their families. She was top bird.
Health plans and medical suppliers can come out on top, too, when they partner with a qualified business process outsourcer (BPO) with loads of seasonal experience, like TTEC. We can help you ramp up to address the seasonal spike by finding the best talent to support your brand, at the right price, and ramp down when the spike has relaxed.
This will keep the member experience at a consistent and optimal level while helping you retain valued employees, members, and patients so you can tackle those double-digit growth expectations.
Summer flies by fast!