Where is the future of healthcare headed?

Did you miss watching Recharge 2021 live? Or are you refreshing your memory on what we covered?

Either way, you’re in the right place. To make sure our attendees caught every major theme, we present the Recharge 2021 recap.

More than 200 health plan leaders joined us for a full day of informational panels. They shared success stories, road blocks, and what they learned while implementing digital health management platforms.

Here are four of the major themes we covered:

Theme 1: Establish your digital goals and the path forward

“The distinction between payer and provider is starting to fall away,” according to Erika Pabo, Chief Health Officer at Author by Humana. Insurers as we know them are moving from “health plans” to “healthcare companies” that holistically address member health needs.

A holistic approach to treating members requires communication. Specifically, more frequent and meaningful communication than telephonic outreach can provide. However, finding and implementing the right digital health management platform can be difficult. Our experts suggest taking it slow—and working closely with your existing staff.

“Find ways to incubate within the structure you have,” said Marcia Macphearson, Partner, Health and Life Sciences at Oliver Wyman. “It’s not feasible to modernize every solution at once. So find a particular relationship to modernize and partner on that can scale over time.”


“You have to have a base set of capabilities you can offer to the market—and it has to be a strong offering. Then you have to find the partners who will help you level up more quickly than if you invest in it yourself. And be able to plug and unplug a variety of other point solutions”

–Marcia Macphearson, Partner, Health and Life Sciences at Oliver Wyman

Theme 2: Understand what your members want

How can you better serve your members with digital health management? Ask!

“Members ask for three things: to be known better, support from providers, and that plans meet them where they are—which means omni-channel, on-demand access to health support,” said Pabo.

Several of our panelists offered their own methods of uncovering the needs and desires of their members. One of the most effective ways to connect and build trust with members was to meet them in-person, found Kim Lauersdorf, VP of Marketing at EmblemHealth. Lauersdorf partnered with local organizations to host in-person events where members could get vaccines, bring home fresh groceries, and even get haircuts.

Panelist Mark Stadler, Chief Executive Officer at AccessHope, incorporated a “distress screener” into AccessHope’s cancer support program. This helped the plan connect members with behavioral health services, food support, housing support, and family mental health services.


“Historically, healthcare has been transactional. Shift your mindset from ‘selling’ to ‘serving’ to help people live healthier lives.”

–Carin Gorrell, Executive Editor at Linkwell Health

Theme 3: Earn and maintain staff buy-in

Your health plan may be tempted to find a digital health management platform and implement it from the top-down. However our panelists were adamant: keep your clinicians and administrators involved from the very beginning.

“Make sure that your whole team understands that ‘why’ so everyone is addressing the same goal,” said Laurie Gehrt, DVP, Care Management, & Pop Health Strategic Alignment at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. “That transitions us from ‘how’ to use this tool to ‘why’ we switched to a virtual platform.”


“To encourage early adoption, we tried to keep staff involved in the discussion, and voice what they think would go wrong with a digital platform. We had to show them the benefits so they could see for themselves, and let them help with some of the decision-making.”

–Kimberly Tagg, Manager, Complex Care Management at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City

Theme 4: Onboarding more members

“The more supported you make a member feel, the more independent and empowered they can be,” said Trishan Panch, MD, MPH, Chief Innovation Officer & Co-founder at Wellframe.

Make sure marketing is in step with you right from the beginning, suggested Laurie Gehrt, DVP, Care Management, & Pop Health Strategic Alignment at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. Within a week of BCBS Kansas City mentioning their care management app in physical mailings, they had dozens of members onboard themselves! Make the most of the channels you have.

Use the information you gleaned from member population assessments to meet them where they are—and cater your messaging just for them.


“Members expect you to have the information, regardless of the channel. And we’re not just asking members to do every task in the program, but looking at what is most important and impactful for them.”

–Kim Walsh, Director, Clinical Product Development at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

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