WEA Trust reduces hospital readmission rates through high-touch customer service model
MADISON — WEA Trust, a not-for profit insurance company, has reduced hospital readmission rates by 31% over the past two years. The Trust has created a high-touch customer service model which focuses on having both insurance and clinical experts available to answer questions, communicating with members directly and providing educational resources.
“The Trust has built our reputation on our high-touch customer service model and it’s our goal to continue to provide that type of service. We believe it’s crucial for our members to not only receive quality care, but to also understand it” said Mary Hughes, WEA Trust’s Vice President of Medical Affairs. “Helping members prepare for an upcoming hospitalization and supporting them when they return home is an important way that we can improve the quality of care our members get while simultaneously lowering healthcare costs for them too.”
To help members, WEA Trust staff first ensures that the hospital is the right setting for care. Members often prefer to not be in the hospital if it is not necessary. To prepare for planned admissions, calls are made to members to educate them about their options, what to expect during the stay, and how to prepare for the return home. Follow-up calls to members are also made upon discharge from the hospital to help members understand signs of potential problems, like infections or medication side effects, and make sure plans are made for needed follow up care.
Since implementing this new outreach model that supports members receiving hospital inpatient care, the WEA Trust has reduced hospital readmission rates by 31%, resulting in a total savings of over $1.9 million for members and employers.