In healthcare, higher retention rates are critical to successful care management since a plan can only influence its members’ health over the long term. Improved retention rates also may result in members who are more satisfied with their existing insurance and therefore more likely to recommend the plan to others, reducing the costs of bringing in new customers.

Despite retention’s critical importance, many health plans treat the issue superficially. As it is easier to focus on sales and marketing campaigns, health plans have not drilled down into the complex issues that cause disenrollment, nor have they implemented comprehensive strategies to improve retention.

In an earlier Executive Insights, L.E.K. pinpointed the root causes of health plan disenrollment and discussed a method for strategically accessing these root causes and the way they combine to impact retention. In this Executive Insights, L.E.K. Consulting’s Healthcare Operations expert Tom Rekart and Managing Director Bill Frack take the next step by focusing on implementation. The authors identify the most effective initiatives for increasing retention, and lay out how these initiatives should be coordinated and prioritized.

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