Revel Health uses analytics to boost health plans’ flu shot rates

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Revel Health, a Minneapolis-based artificial intelligence-driven healthcare technology company, is using personalized communication to help health plans boost flu shots rates among members.

Not only do improved flu shot rates impact a health plan’s STAR rating, but they also save an estimated $350 for the average person who won’t go to an urgent care or emergency department, according to Jeff Fritz, director and CEO of Revel Health, a 12-year old company that works directly with seven of the largest ten health plans as a vendor partner.

Revel has 21 programs that focus on quality measures for payers, Fritz says. Annual influenza immunizations are a core objective for most health plans. The flu vaccine is recommended for all adults and may reduce flu-related hospitalizations by 71 percent. By reducing flu-related provider visits, health plans are able to drive down claims and create a healthier member base, he says.

A recent Revel effort to improve flu shot ratings for a large health plan that it declined to identify resulted in 48 percent of the plan’s members changing their minds from initially not wanting a flu shot to ultimately agreeing to get one. “In the past these would have been members who may not have received a flu vaccine because they were uninformed,” Fritz says.

Additionally, 49 percent of members opted-in for a health risk assessment offered on the call following the flu vaccine information. Of those who took the health risk assessment, 94 percent completed it, Fritz adds.

Revel’s client already made efforts in previous years to inform its members on the benefits of flu immunizations. However, it wanted to improve immunization rates and deliver the most effective targeted program encouraging members to take action.

For the effort, Fritz and his team used a two-pronged approach that involved moving away from a broadcast approach and moving toward a conversational approach to enhance the call experience. Revel’s Connect Platform uses a script that frequently asks the member for feedback, and the interactive voice responds in real-time to the chosen path.

Revel marries machine learning to behavioral science, Fritz says. By accessing multiple data sources that include retail, credit bureau and census data, Revel gets a clearer picture of an individual and how to engage with them. “We study how people view their world broadly, not just specifically to health insurance,” Fritz says. Revel then builds and adjusts communications based on those views.

Revel makes use of the 16,000 pieces of information available on any given individual through census data, according to Fritz. “As you comb through that, you start to see what can really inform a person’s situation,” he says.

“Most payers are worried about how to drive healthier behavior, or better clinical quality, and they are trying to get that done,” Fritz says. “They are still largely in the previous mode of communication, which includes sending mail, conducting robocalls—more of a one- size-fits-all—versus a very personalized tailored approach using technology to tailor the message, which is new,” he says.

Revel has been able to help its health insurance company clients to go from one-size-fits all messages to more personalized messages that can be sent out through channel texts, email and/or phone calls, Fritz says.

One message might be based on freedom, which emphasizes, “Don’t lose a day. Get your flu shot done,” Fritz says. Another is a “value messages,” which emphasizes that the flu shot is free.

Access Revel Health’s flu shot report here.

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