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Analysis

Priority Health's New Mobile App Includes Cost Estimator

By Alexandra Wilson Pecci  
   November 07, 2019

The insurer says 85% of its members prefer to self-serve online.

Priority Health has launched a new mobile app for its more than 1 million members, and included in that app is access to the Michigan-based insurer's successful cost estimator tool. The tool reports prices based on each members' individual plan and personal deductible.

Members who use the app will also be able track spending balances; search claims; see a detailed breakdown of their care and prescription costs; message customer service; access virtual care; find personalized health-based programs and activities; and find a doctor.

According to Priority Health data, 85% of its members prefer to self-serve online, rather than talking on the phone, for the information the app provides.

Since launching in 2015, Priority Health's cost estimator tool, which rewards users for choosing fair market-priced care, has proved popular with users.

For instance, since the tool launched, Priority Health has seen a 176% growth in prescription price searching by its members, Nathan Foco, senior director of market and sales intelligence at Priority Health, tells HealthLeaders via email.

As of as of June 2019, there are more than 55 rewardable procedures for which members can search prices. Rewards come in the form of Visa gift cards which are typically rewarded in the range of $50-$200, depending on the procedure, although there are a few that will reward up to $500, Priority Health reports.

In addition, the insurer also has a provider "shadow tool" that doctors can use in conversation with their patients about costs for procedures and drugs at the time of care.

To generate the prices, Priority Health says its tool runs a claim through the system for the specific member and the specific procedure they are researching. This yields a real cost based on the member's current plan and deductible.

Priority Health provided HealthLeaders with additional data showing:

  • Its member engagement rate for the tool is at 14%, compared to the 2% industry average for similar tools.
     
  • To-date, Priority Health has reported more than $11,000,000 in shared healthcare savings as a result of the tool.
     
  • For shoppers who chose a "fair market price" location within the tool, the average savings is $680 per procedure.
     
  • Members who shop tend to go to a "fair market price" facility 20% more often than those who don't shop.
     
  • For medication shopping, selecting lower cost generic and alternatives has grown 204%.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.


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