Retention Bias

As people always say, it costs less to keep a “customer” than to attract a new customer.  Given that 69% of people (per AON 2006 survey) have an option of health plans to choose from, why don’t managed care companies reach out to you to encourage you to choose them?

For healthy patients, I would reach out to them to encourage them to choose you.  They have to be the most profitable customers to keep.   You would hate for them to have either no contact with you or one contact with might not be positive.

Additionally, for sick customers, wouldn’t you want to interact with them and understand their impression of you (via surveys) and determine how to influence their decision during open enrollment.  Depending on the relationship – risk versus ASO (administrative services only) – you may have different reason for influencing their decisions.

This points to several key issues which exist in healthcare:

  1. How to segment your population?
  2. How to motivate people?
  3. How should you communicate with people?
  4. How to track satisfaction?

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