Although few things are more human than healthcare, we at Belong Health find ourselves concerned by the impersonal nature of the healthcare industry at large. To us, our members aren’t numbers and symptoms on a chart — they’re people with fears, hopes, families, friends, and ambitions. Shouldn’t healthcare treat them as such? Fortunately, behavioral design — the science of how people think, feel, and behave — embraces this natural complexity of the human condition. It recognizes people are irrational, passionate, dynamic, and unique. And so do we.
In fact, we love the science of behavioral design so much, it’s central to everything we do — including creating processes, workflows, and communication plans that build trust with each of our members. Systems that fully support them as the wonderfully irrational people they are.
The Value of Behavioral Design
What is Behavioral Design? Put simply, it’s the study of that pesky gap between what people say they’ll do and what they’ll actually do. Thoughtful, thorough examinations of this gap — followed by implementation of operational solutions with which to bridge it — are invaluable in nearly every industry, including ours.
When applied to care management for dual-eligible special needs (D-SNP) members, behavioral design works wonders in the following ways:
- Offering Nudge Interventions – Nudge interventions are small changes to an environment or decision-making process that can influence behavior without limiting choice. When a D-SNP member needs a bit of a reminder to take a medication or schedule a check-up, nudge interventions can come to the rescue.
- Appealing to Social Norms – Care management services can influence behavior by highlighting what is typical or expected for a particular population. For D-SNP members, for example, it might be helpful to know the percentage of people within their respective communities who have received recommended screenings.
- Simplifying Choice – Behavioral design helps curb against decision overwhelm by simplifying choices. In the realm of care management, this could mean presenting D-SNP members with a limited number of options for care plans, using accessible and region-specific language to describe those plans, and working alongside each member as they make their respective decisions.
- Motivation Design – With the help of motivation design — by way of fun rewards, points systems, and interactive tools — care management naturally becomes more dynamic and enjoyable for D-SNP members. Clear incentives and a sense of ownership over their own progress can often make a world of difference in the achievement of health outcomes.
- Personalization – Through personalization, care management can be expertly tailored to the unique and often complex needs of every D-SNP member. Customized care plans or reminders, based on a blend of personal needs and preferences and expert advice, equips every member with the best possible path to health.
Trust is earned when people and organizations do what has been expected and promised. Belong uses behavioral design as a key method of building and sustaining trust with our members.
In this spirit, we go to great lengths to personalize our communications by doing extensive “homework” that lets us get to really get to know every member — not solely via their ailments or needs but also via their joys and passions. We remember details about their lives. We ask, and we celebrate, what is meaningful to them. Along every step of the healthcare journey, we learn every member’s personal preference. Would they like to work with a provider of a particular gender? Would they prefer we addressed them in a particular way?
No matter the nature of the member engagement, we always go beyond a simple “check-the-box” phone call. Our care management teams regularly exceed the industry standard. This is why our commitment to behavioral design is critical to our success.