A discussion guide for Health Plans

Would you be surprised to learn that there were prominent naysayers of innovative (and now common) technologies, such as the iPhone, television and even automobiles? Each of these innovations proved revolutionary and have become a part of our modern culture, yet many were skeptical of each change at the time. This history illustrates an important point that healthcare plan leaders and payers should understand when introducing and implementing change in their organizations: People will naturally resist change, despite its necessity and its regular occurrence. “Keep in mind that if your employees (or even your peers or boss) are resisting your change efforts, their resistance comes from a perspective that makes perfect sense to them,” says Robert Tanner, business coach and author. Tanner emphasizes that change management requires good people skills to effectively implement, such as the ability to understand some of the fears that come with change. These fears can include a fear of failure (“Is my job on the line if I don’t get this technology down immediately?”) and more broadly, a fear of the unknown (“I’ve never had to use this before, why should I have to use it now?”). As Tanner points out, people change all the time. So how do you bridge the gap?

Let’s talk about change.

Start by explaining. A communication plan is key to resolving the natural fears your staff will feel when you adopt new technology solutions and improve processes. Though you aren’t required to detail every strategic element of adopting changes, you can choose to open up the line of communication. Point out that change is in everyone’s best interest when it comes to healthcare technology, and it’s increasingly common in every organization. As they say, the writing is on the wall, and there’s a growing public and private interest to innovate and improve the healthcare sector. If you’re a Medicaid MCO, for instance, regulatory changes and the political climate mean it’s more important than ever to gain visibility into your financial operations. The need for transparency and improved recovery efficiencies are key drivers for change among healthcare plans. What should you cover when you communicate the benefits of embracing new technology with your employees? Here are a few icebreakers:

The industry is changing – let’s be a part of the future.

As we’ve mentioned before, the current climate of healthcare is forecasting major technological advances aimed at improving efficiency and supporting value-based care. Like it or not, change seems inevitable for our industry and while it’s understandable that this creates fear, the need cannot be dismissed. It’s helpful to present the facts when discussing change:
  • Point out that technology has already been adopted culturally without too much fuss. Think about how grandparents can now text and video chat with their grandchildren easily when this seemed impossible only a decade ago.
  • Share news about the healthcare industry with your team, especially as it relates to technological benefits.
At this stage it’s helpful to engage your vendor in communication with team members. They’ll be able to point you towards the latest news regarding healthcare technologies, as well as provide case studies citing factual outcomes from platform adoption.

We’re talking about replacing outdated work processes, not people.

Improving efficiency doesn’t always mean job loss. It usually means that skilled workers can focus on core values that are more aligned with their job roles. Technology often replaces redundancies that frustrate workers anyway like repetitive actions that delay employees from higher-value tasks. “Explain to them the benefits of the software and all of the ways that it can actually help to make their jobs more efficient,” advises Microsoft. Make it clear that you’ll be supporting – not pointing the finger at – your staff. The prospect of being able to focus on the job an employee was actually hired to do, rather than being sidelined by inefficient and outdated processes, can be exciting to health plan staff members as long as it’s correctly communicated. Further reassure your people by offering supportive services, like training and integrative processes. While training on new software can bring its own set of anxieties, there are effective strategies to overcome these fears. With the right encouragement and support, health plans can confidently embrace the change that’s necessary.

Change is more readily accepted with the right solution.

Change can be easier than you think with empowering technology like Pareo™. We aren’t offering “just another” payment integrity solution. Our platform is comprehensive, easy to adopt and customizable – designed from the ground up to be intuitive. Furthermore, we are committed to working with health plans and payers to accomplish a seamless transition to our integrative technology. This includes offering support as you discuss the need for change within your organization.