How to Improve Engagement and Spend with Points-Based Rewards

July 1, 2024


Motivate members to complete healthy activities and adopt new behaviors with points-based reward programs. Points provide a cost-effective, flexible structure for reinforcing healthy habits. When applied alongside behavioral science best practices, these programs create new opportunities to capture member data, improve outreach effectiveness and increase care gap closure.

Why Points?

Points-based reward programs have a proven history of improving consumer loyalty and engagement, as seen with the popularity of loyalty programs offered by credit card companies, airlines and restaurants. Up to 80% of consumers in the United States are part of at least one loyalty program, and 75% consider points the top motivator for remaining with a brand.

When applied to health plan members, points can reinforce healthy habits and address care gaps. Points programs can power innovative engagement strategies that reward members in small increments for completing simple, everyday tasks, while limiting larger rewards for high-value activities.

For example, plans can reward members 100 points every day they complete 7,000 steps, which research shows reduces the risk of developing heart disease by 51%. As members build this healthy habit and bank points to exchange for rewards, they’ll be more likely to complete more impactful health activities, such as Annual Wellness Visits or Prenatal Care Visits, which can carry higher point values.

Other actions to incentivize members with points:

  • Logging into member portals
  • Updating contact information
  • Completing surveys and questionnaires
  • Reading articles on health education
  • Tracking biometrics, such as heart rates, blood pressure and sleep patterns
  • Connecting health and wellness trackers to member profiles

This reward structure keeps members engaged in their care long-term and allows plans to conduct continuous engagement to address risk, quality and data gaps.

Points Versus Dollars

Both dollars and points can have a powerful impact on health outcomes, but there are a few key differences.

Dollars can quickly entice members to complete activities because they instantly know the value of the reward. Offering members a $50 gift card for completing Annual Wellness Visits provides an immediate incentive for members to complete visits, identify health risks and schedule follow-up screenings.

However, points offer a more cost-effective and flexible solution to adjust member behaviors. With dollars, plans will need to set aside a flat amount of funding to support incentive budgets for larger populations. Points allow plans to customize the dollar-value of points, such as $1 for every 100 points or $1 for every 500 points while still motivating members with high point values. Plans may adjust these ratios to ensure every dollar spent achieves better improvements in risk and quality revenue.

Build a Points-Based Reward Strategy

Implementing a points-based reward program without the right strategic guidance and technological capabilities is not a straightforward process. Plans need to keep in mind regional healthcare regulations, technological capabilities and behavioral science best practices to design impactful reward programs.

Healthmine relieves these burdens so health plans can focus on the work that matters. Supported by behavioral scientists and regulatory experts, our reward programs deliver a seamless member experience while meeting all compliance standards. At the plan-level, care teams can manage incentive budgets, outreach and analytics all from one central location to improve operational efficiencies and insights into program performance.

Get started motivating members to adopt healthy behaviors. Reach out to us for a demo.

Healthmine is the leading member engagement and rewards solution focused on empowering people to take the right actions to improve their health.

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