Mailings Boost Preventive Exams for Healthcare Provider

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Advocate Health Care designed patient-retention programs for its health centers and medical group that produced response rates about 15 percentage points above what was generated by a control group of non-recipients, Customer Potential Management Marketing Group Inc. said yesterday.

Customer Potential Management, Middleton, WI, is a relationship management solutions provider for the healthcare industry. It developed the retention programs. Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, IL, is the largest healthcare provider in Illinois.

Advocate Health Centers' campaign goals included increasing compliance with routine preventive maintenance exams among existing patients who had not been seen by physicians in the past six to 12 months.

Advocate Health Centers aimed to lower claim costs by encouraging individuals to get regular recommended screenings and immunizations that identify problems early and/or keep people from getting sick. Recipients got mail pieces urging them to see their physician for a checkup, offering expedited scheduling and a Healthwise Handbook upon completion of the appointment.

Advocate Health Centers and Advocate Medical Group used Lifetime Connections, a customizable, automated suite of relevant health maintenance communications from CPM. The centers and the group modified the application to fit their goals.

Advocate Health Care involved physicians in the planning process by presenting campaign goals, sample materials and soliciting input.

Advocate Health Centers and Advocate Medical Group used a control group that did not get campaign materials but had the same characteristics of those in the targeted groups. Advocate compared the service utilization of individuals who received the campaign mailings with those in the control groups.

After nine months of tracking, 43 percent of households came in for a visit compared with 28 percent in the control group of unmailed households.

As the campaign's success became evident, Advocate Health Centers kept expanding the mailings, nearly doubling the number of participating physicians from 66 to 126.

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