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Aetna’s Speck touts humanizing health care


Christina Speck, senior director of consumer initiatives at Aetna

Successfully offering consumer-centric health care requires a multi-pronged approach that meets the needs of a wide variety of customer groups, Aetna senior director of consumer initiatives Christina Speck stressed at the recent Retail Health Summit.

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Because payers’ customers include such diverse segments as patients, physicians, government agencies and employers, understanding each group’s unique needs and building connections is essential for payers going forward. Doing that, she said, helps customers feel that their concerns are being addressed and that the company cares about them.

“Humanization of health care is a big trend,” Speck said. “It starts with some of the basic things people are expecting from our industry.”

For instance, she noted, patients and providers like person-to-person contact but become frustrated when their first contact with an insurer is a recorded message that directs them to a website.

“Call volume-reduction is huge,” Speck said, “There are cohorts of people who do not feel comfortable not talking to a person. A great website is not enough. People still want to talk to a person to solve their problem.”

That one-on-one contact, she said, helps build trust and makes patients more open to communication, which, in turn, can lead to better health outcomes.

“We want them to make the decision to be more mindful,” Speck said. “We want them to take a moment to consider trusting us and sharing not just their health goals but their larger life goals.”

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