Communication Strategy Regarding H1N1 (Swine) Flu

“There is a lot of media, a lot of news, a lot of rumor – the sooner you can get correct and accurate information to consumers, the better – otherwise people will look to other sources that may not always be accurate.”  (Jan Berger, President of Health Intelligence Partners on podcast)

We have been hearing a few things from our clients and have put some information up on the Silverlink website.  Some of the comments have been:

  1. I have seen a spike in call center volume about this topic.
  2. Clients want to change plan design to make sure Relenza and Tamiflu are covered and don’t require a prior authorization or have a quantity level limit on them.
  3. We want to proactively reach out to at risk populations – children, seniors, or people with a compromised immune system.
  4. We want to be able to flexibly target certain geographies.
  5. We want to remind people not to panic, drive them to quality information sources, and make sure they know the basics – wash your hands.

At a minimum, everyone is adding information to their websites.  Many consumers are Googling the topic or following updates from @CDCEmergency (on Twitter).

Healthplans, PBMs, and population health companies are at the heart of this.  They need a coordinated strategy to inform people appropriately as this issue continues to be top of mind.

We recorded a podcast last night with the Medical Director from Healthwise and Jan Berger who is the former Chief Medical Officer from CVS Caremark and is now president of Health Intelligence Partners.  In here, they answer some general questions about the situation and what companies should be doing to educate members.

The two standard solutions Silverlink is offering clients are:

  1. Offer an inbound FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) line with CDC content and specifics about their plans.  This can help with overflow from their call center and/or be used as a direct line from their website or outbound communications.
  2. Selectively target populations (age, zip code, disease state) with a brief message reminding them to wash their hands and telling them where to get qualified information.

As with all our communications offerings, these can be customized (messaging, channel, targeting, etc.) to meet client requirements.  Additionally, since one of our technology advantages over others in the space is our flexibility, we can work with clients to keep these messages up-to-date as the situation changes and as new information has to be added.

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