Hospital Conducts Successful Multi-Year Benefits Enrollment Initiative
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Hospital Conducts Successful Multi-Year Benefits Enrollment Initiative

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October 19, 2009

When Medicare Part D and the Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) first went into effect, MetroHealth, Cleveland’s leading regional hospital, was confident that many of their patients as well as members of their MetroHealth Advantage program would likely be eligible for the LIS. (MetroHealth Advantage is a free hospital membership program for Medicare beneficiaries that offers different types of non-clinical support services and programs such as social work assistance, health promotion programs, etc.)

But the hospital also knew that many of the people they served would likely need help not only with applying for the LIS, but also with Part D plan selection. So MetroHealth decided to implement an integrated, sustained outreach and enrollment strategy to ensure that everyone received the personalized help that they needed. And thanks to this strategy, over the course of four years, MetroHealth was able to submit over 1,000 Extra Help/LIS applications on behalf of their clients.

Who was the target audience?

People with Medicare who were potentially eligible for the LIS.

What did they do?

MetroHealth Advantage used existing information about its members and patients from databases and other sources (which included client income information in some cases) to conduct a targeted, ongoing direct mail campaign to people who were likely eligible for the LIS. The call to action was simple: “Call us to schedule an appointment.” Hospital staff, pharmacy staff and local social work students provided personalized assistance to patients and members who contacted them.

In addition, MetroHealth Advantage also partnered with the hospital pharmacy to identify other potential LIS eligibles. Hospital pharmacy staff did quick preliminary screenings of walk-in pharmacy clients to see if they would qualify for the LIS. If they did qualify, pharmacy staff instructed them to visit the MetroHealth Advantage office to apply for the benefit on the spot.

What was the result?

Over a four-year timeframe MetroHealth submitted over 1,000 Extra Help/LIS applications on behalf of their clients. Their ongoing direct mail campaign that incorporated simple messaging had response rates as high as 7.5%. The program was win-win for both the hospital and the patient!

For more information

Candace Carmichael, Manager
MetroHealth Advantage Seniors Program
The Senior Health & Wellness Center
MH Old Brooklyn Campus
4229 Pearl Road ST-010
Cleveland, OH  44109
(216) 957-3865
ccarmichael@metrohealth.org

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