By choosing the right vendor, you can help differentiate yourself from your competition and engage your members to increase Medicare Star Ratings.
As a Medicare provider, your main goal is to address the diverse needs of beneficiaries effectively. Many Medicare carriers turn to vendors to help expand their medical, fitness, and mental health resources for beneficiaries, aiming to enhance the overall well-being of beneficiaries. Providing these resources, coupled with a focus on exceptional customer service, plays a crucial role in influencing a Medicare carrier's star rating.
While certain aspects of a vendor's customer service and accessibility are often out of a Medicare carrier's control, establishing strong collaborations with vendors is essential. Medicare providers need to work with partners that meet seniors' multifaceted needs and improve the carrier’s star rating through stellar communication.
What is the Medicare Star Ratings system?
Many Medicare plan shoppers use the Medicare Star Ratings System to help them find the perfect provider. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created this system in 2007. This system ranks carriers on a scale of one through five, with five being the highest and one being the lowest. The annual rating can be based on several categories such as customer service, member experience, and quality of care — it’s built to help people find the best plan to fit their needs.
With ongoing changes to the rating system, it makes it difficult to achieve higher star ratings. Medicare carriers must strive for higher star ratings to stand out amongst the many Medicare health plans available. By choosing the right vendor, you can help differentiate yourself from your competition and engage your members.
How vendors help Star Ratings
Medicare plans have always had a main focus on providing medical care. In recent years, Medicare providers are recognizing the need for expanded services and resources. Vendors can offer additional medical, fitness, and mental health resources that contribute to a more comprehensive and holistic approach to patient care.
When Medicare carriers partner with these vendors, they're able to provide holistic benefits within their Medicare plans — expanding their accessibility, and providing access to health resources on digital apps and through clear lines of communication. This also makes it easy for beneficiaries to understand their plan’s offerings, improving their overall experience with their health plan.
How vendors could harm star ratings
While the right vendor can improve a carrier's star rating, the wrong vendor choice can take away a carrier's star. If a senior has trouble with a vendor, the Medicare carrier may not always be able to assist or control the outcome. This gives the Medicare carrier little control over the beneficiary's customer experience. If a vendor has poor customer service capabilities, it directly reflects badly on the Medicare carrier. With limited say in a vendor's customer service skills and programs, Medicare carriers must carefully choose the right partner.
How to find the right Medicare vendor
Medicare carriers must carefully choose the vendors they partner with to improve their star ratings. Consider these key aspects to effectively vet vendors while ensuring a positive member experience:
1. Effective communication channels
- Customer Service Skill Set: Assess the vendor's customer service capabilities by examining their communication channels. A vendor with a range of communication options, such as multi-digital channel communication or a responsive customer service number, prioritizes a seamless customer experience.
- Avoiding Frustration: Ensure that the vendor's communication channels go beyond just a telephone number. The goal is to prevent beneficiaries from experiencing frustration by being left on hold, offering them varied and efficient means of reaching out.
2. Utilization of modern technology
- Online Presence: Seniors today expect Medicare programs and vendor information to be readily available online. Evaluate the vendor's online presence, specifically the navigability of their website. A user-friendly website is essential for seniors to easily find the information they need and access their benefits effortlessly.
- Mobile App and Responsive Design: Check if the vendor provides a mobile app and a responsive digital experience suitable for seniors. A commitment to accessibility is demonstrated by offering multiple options to cater to the diverse preferences of beneficiaries. For example, FitOn Health members can easily book in-person fitness experiences directly within the FitOn app, bringing all fitness needs under one virtual roof.
3. Prioritization of diverse benefits
- Tailored Programs: Stellar vendors understand the diverse needs of older adults. Look for vendors that go beyond offering basic benefits and provide programs tailored to different health needs and fitness routines.
- Options for Every Level: Ensure that the vendor's programs cater to every level of ability, acknowledging that no two seniors have the same requirements. Quality vendors offer a variety of options to meet the unique needs of each beneficiary.
Boosting Medicare Star Ratings with FitOn Health
FitOn Health understands both the importance of a high star rating, as well as prioritizing seniors' needs. We strive to ensure each beneficiary has a positive experience with our program. Seniors can not only use our mobile app to find programs near them, they can reach our Client Services team directly for a white-glove experience. We also prioritize the Medicare carriers' experience in working with us and are dedicated to improving their star ratings.
Check out our blog to learn more about FitOn Health and what seniors want in their Medicare plans.
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