It was 9:11 PM on Tuesday when a text came through CaredUp’s “demo” number (646.846.4872).
A totally random man in Nashville had some questions about colonoscopies.
As John stated a few times in this exchange, getting precise cost answers requires a relationship with an employer/insurance company, and that relationship simply isn’t going to exist with a stranger.
Still, value was delivered. And it’s important to note how seamlessly texting allowed that to occur.
Imagine if CaredUp were a “call center” instead. You call after-hours and reach an answering machine. When we call you back, you may not answer because you screen the unrecognized phone number or because you don’t really want to talk on the phone or because you are doing something else. The important information you once wanted never gets delivered without some level of inconvenience. That may mean it’s never delivered at all.
In a time when a major behavior change is being requested of patients – asking them to be smarter consumers of healthcare – adding additional friction is going to hamper the process. Yes, patients need help navigating the complexities of the system because they are not doing it themselves. But if the form of assistance doesn’t fit their busy lives, most of that engagement is going to be reactive (i.e., after an overpriced claim is generated) versus proactive (i.e., educating so that overpriced claim never happens).
That’s why texting, the number one form of communication for most people, in healthcare navigation is so important. Texting allows the exchange of vital information on terms that work for all parties so optimal decisions can be made in a proactive and timely manner.