Quality of care is a major driver of health coach programs, says Patrick Buckley, president and CEO of PB Healthcare Business Solutions, a strategy and marketing firm.
"Health coaching, in addition to patient advocacy and navigation, provides customers with continuity before, during, and after engagement with the health system," he says. "This can help to keep them from leaving the system due to fragmented and disjointed coordination, as a more engaged and informed patient and a less-stressed care provider."
Health coaching is a relatively inexpensive piece of the ongoing shift in healthcare toward shared savings. "A strong advanced primary care program will be instrumental as we move in to ACO and shared savings reimbursement models," Taylor says. "Health care coaches are an integral part of the health care team that makes up advanced primary care here at Mercy Clinics." She cites the coaches’ training in self-management support and motivational interviewing, along with their skills in coordinating care for patients.
Where marketing comes into play
It makes sense that patients working one-on-one with a health coach will be better informed about their health and therefore more likely to follow their post-hospitalization regimen. But why does this matter to marketers?