March 15, 2018

The Three Pillars of Personalized Advocacy

By Peggy Fischer

In the quest to improve the value of healthcare - to deliver better health outcomes at lower cost - health systems and providers are moving away from the “one size fits all” approach to treatment. Instead, they're embracing what makes each patient unique, from genes to values to lifestyles. As patients increasingly become partners to providers in the decision making process, a focus on physical conditions has expanded to include a patient's social, emotional, spiritual and financial context as well.

But to amplify the impact of “patient centered care” on health and financial outcomes, we need to extend those concepts beyond the walls of healthcare. With a personalized approach to employee healthcare benefits, for example, we can help individuals and families engage in their health and well-being, make the best healthcare decisions at every stage of health, and get on the best path forward, whether or not they are patients. And when they are patients, we can help them be more prepared to partner with their providers.

That's what personalized advocacy is all about. It's a new approach to employee health and benefits that fits into each individual's life in a way that makes sense to them personally.

Personalized advocacy is built on three pillars: person-centric support, partnership and guidance, and a unified experience.

    Person-centric Support. As healthcare reform focuses on putting the patient at the center of care, personalized advocacy puts the person at the center of health and benefits support, even before they are a “patient” or seeking healthcare. This means a few things:
  • A person's total life context matters, not just their physical health, diagnosed condition and demographics. An individual's behavioral health issues, financial challenges, workplace pressures, social environment, cultural beliefs and other life factors play a significant role in a person's healthcare decisions and ability to engage in their health.
  • A person is engaged early and often, not just when they have been diagnosed with a disease or condition, but at every stage of health and well-being. Engaging an individual early and often opens the door to influencing better decisions and better health outcomes.
  • A person can engage the way they want. Allowing people to use the communication channel or mode of their choice - whether mobile device, phone or online - increases engagement.
    Pre-care Partnership and Guidance. Personalized advocacy recognizes that individuals must have the opportunity to fully participate in partnership with highly skilled, compassionate people dedicated to helping them, even before they enter the healthcare system. They need the opportunity to share their personal context and stories — and express their unique health and healthcare needs — as true partners in the context of a trusted, human relationship. This trusted relationship is in place when a health need occurs — when they need expert guidance to help them evaluate their options, navigate the complexity of the healthcare system, and make the best choices for their personal situation.
    Unified Experience. Personalized advocacy pulls together the fragmented world of healthcare for each member, making it simpler for individuals to find, access and use the health-related resources they need when they need them. Because personal health data is shared across programs and resources, members enjoy a personalized experience as they seek support from distinct but connected solutions, programs and institutions. The unified experience also makes it easier for HR Benefits Leaders to analyze and report on the use of health and benefits programs.

The Impact of Personalized Advocacy: Real-World Stories

When put into action, personalized advocacy can make a dramatic impact on engagement, the health and lives of individuals and families, as well as on healthcare spending. The experience and results of Accolade customer AmeriGas, the largest national distributor of propane, and their families will be discussed at Conference Board West in San Diego, on March 28 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Please join us!

Getting to Personalized Advocacy - What, How and Who's Doing it Right?

Session L3: March 28 | 11:15am - 12:05pm

Andy Rosa, Director Human Resources, Benefits & Workforce Health, AmeriGas

Raj Singh, CEO, Accolade

Want to Learn More about Personalized Advocacy?

Check next week's blog to learn about how Personalized Advocacy combines human compassion, clinical expertise and intelligent technologies to engage people in their health and make the best healthcare decisions.