With the flood of change in healthcare today, you could forgive consumers if they cited “confusion” rather than “clarity” to describe how they feel about the future of their insurance coverage. With the constant reshaping of plans and programs, patients easily get disoriented, whether before, during, or after a trip through the system. This is especially true if they or their loved ones are medically stressed or handicapped.
Mergers in the health-insurance industry risk elevating the confusion, and whatever insurers can do to mitigate that risk is critical to consumer satisfaction and loyalty. With forethought, insurers can turn the rebranding associated with a merger into an opportunity to make subscribers feel they are being better served—and served by a holistic, integrated enterprise.
One means to make this happen is to assure the transition of the company’s brand is efficient and consistent. No one wants a situation in which ill patients, for example, are asked to sign insurance forms that have different names and/or logos on them. Such disconnects lead patients to doubt which corporate entity is serving them, and it need not happen if the merger rebranding goes according to a rigorous plan.
Healthcare consumers want more than anything to feel they are in a system under control—control by the people serving them and control in getting them back to good health. An efficient rebranding, done with speed, consistency, and quality—across the insurance enterprise—helps on both counts.
When MedStar Health rebranded its nine hospitals and 130 clinics in 2012, it offered an example of what insurers can do. The healthcare system, the largest in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region, kept the focus on patients. Without this kind of implementation philosophy, patients in the healthcare system could feel lost. At BrandActive we help our clients stay focused on what’s important to help ensure patients remain oriented through-out the rebranding. For example, at Medstar, we did an initial scoping of branded assets, identified asset priorities, and prepared various scenarios for launch and completion. Timing, sequencing, cost—these were all rolled into the early analysis. We then undertook the logistics to deliver on time and on budget. Executing flawlessly assures a sense of clarity and control.
Transactions like these provide a unique opportunity for insurers to save money and increase efficiency. At Medstar, an 80 percent cost savings was realized on the conversion of ID badges, a branded asset critical to any business. Furthermore, an increase in efficiency can translate directly into reassuring subscribers that they are indeed in a system under control. Implementing the rebranding systematically erases any doubt in consumers’ minds that they’ve signed on with the wrong insurer.
One of the big upsides of today’s health-insurer mergers is the unique chance to burnish the reputation of the company. Undertaking a rebranding that befuddles patients is simply unnecessary. Instead, insurers can take the specific steps in BrandActive’s four-step process to help build revered brands. Companies that do so will execute brand implementation in a way that bespeaks the consistency and care of a world-class organization.