CoCreate Continues – Working with Customers to Simplify the Complex
Three years ago, Network Health started a movement called CoCreate. The goal was to work with people throughout Wisconsin to create a better health insurance experience.
Our current CoCreate initiative is now tackling one of the most important and common documents a health plan sends their customers—the explanation of benefits (or EOB for short). Everyone gets an EOB from their health insurance company after a recent doctor visit. Most people recognize it as having a long, complicated chart with big bold print stating, “This is not a bill,” yet it tells you what you owe.
Throughout our CoCreate movement, we’ve heard over and over that people found this document more confusing than helpful. We recognized this was an area where we needed to do better. At Network Health, our goal has been to partner with our customers to simplify and improve health insurance together. We know we can improve, and CoCreate has brought our customers’ perspectives to the forefront to enable us to focus on what matters most to them.
We recently invited real customers back to our offices to gather their thoughts, opinions and feedback so we could collaborate and redesign the EOB together.
Network Health marketing director, Melanie Draheim, helped facilitate the ideation session.
“We know the EOB is jargon to a lot of people and it often comes up as something that just doesn’t make sense, but instead of us deciding what would be better, we wanted to involve customers in the process,” Draheim explained when describing Network Health’s approach.
“A lot of companies do focus groups, but CoCreate is different. We’re not showing people a solution we came up with and asking what they think. We’re inviting customers into the design process—asking their ideas from the start,” Draheim said.
Feedback from customers who participated in the EOB ideation session quickly emerged into themes.
Here’s what some customers had to say.
“I’ll be honest. I’m one of the people who pitch it right away,” one customer said.
“It’s always confusing,” said another.
“I think that you like to see what the discount amount is … actually, that’s the most positive thing,” another explained.
“Make it a little clearer, so you’re not searching through to see what your actual responsibility is,” one suggested.
“Seeing that the patient balance is zero, to make sure that it did go to the preventive visit and I don’t owe anything is really big. So, making sure that number is prominent would be helpful,” suggested another.
When asked what intrigued her most about the EOB ideation session, Draheim explained that she expected to hear that the EOB was confusing and that insurance companies needed to make the amount owed more noticeable. But, she was surprised to hear that customers suggested something different.
“It was a different perspective we hadn’t really thought much about, but it totally made sense,” Draheim said.
To learn how we simplified and improved the EOB based on the customer ideas shared, stay tuned for updates and a before and after feature.
What’s CoCreate been up to this year? Watch this video for some highlights.
Do you have any suggestions, ideas or questions about CoCreate? What do you think about the EOB document you get from your insurance company? We want to hear from you.