With the steepest penalties to date, this week marks the latest expansion of CMS’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). The good news is that readmission rates are actually decreasing for the first time since 2009. The timing couldn’t be better because consumers are starting to take notice. If you aren’t already talking about readmissions in your digital marketing efforts, now is a good time to start.
Shifts toward increased cost sharing and high deductible plans have piqued consumers’ interests in getting high quality care. In fact, high deductible plans are among the fastest growing form of health care coverage. With average out of pocket costs near $4,000, according to a recent Washington Post story, consumers are more likely than ever to choose a hospital with a lower readmission rate.
5 Ways to Work Readmission Rates into Your Digital Strategy
As we approach open enrollment season, it’s the time of year when consumers are making big decisions about their care. Many are making open enrollment elections while others are considering elective procedures to help spend down their HSA balance.
Shine a spotlight on your hospital’s low readmission rates with these tactics:
1. Let them know you’re a top performer. Use digital media channels to talk about your admission rates. For example, add messaging about low readmissions when talking about surgical procedures on your website.
2. Benchmarks are important. It can be difficult for consumers to understand what constitutes a “low” readmissions rate. Help them along by providing useful benchmarks such as state or national rates for hospitals of similar size.
3. Show off what you do best. Quality of care is measured by more than just your readmissions rate, so be sure to talk about other metrics for which you have stellar performance, such as low complication rates and low MRSA rates.
4. Introduce your team. Use videos to introduce potential patients to your discharge planning nurses and support staff. Doing so can add warmth and reassurance to your messaging.
5. Don’t forget to cross-market.Use this opportunity to promote programs and services that help keep patients healthy after discharge such as home health, pharmacy and cardiac rehabilitation.