By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

I had an experience this week that showed me that the first priority of any healthcare marketing aimed at patients must be a better customer experience. To use the phrase learned in medical school training: primum non nocere (First, do no harm).

I recently had a conversation with a friend who has Type 1 diabetes. She told me she has a private supplemental plan for Medicare Parts A and B, plus a private Rx Part D plan. When she tried to renew her initial prescription, her pharmacy told her that it will no longer accept her insurance. She is nearing the end of her prescription for Humalog, which is administered with an insulin pump.

The pharmacy told her to contact Medicare. Medicare told her to call her Plan D Rx insurance carrier. Her Plan D insurance carrier told her she needed to call her Plan B supplemental insurance carrier. Her Plan B supplemental insurance carrier told her to call—wait for it—Medicare. After all that, she has now been told by a new pharmacy to bring her card in person and they will transfer her prescription, then run it through the system to see if she has coverage.

Meanwhile, she has enough insulin to last her three more days.

Whatever your view of the solution—and there is endless debate—everyone agrees there should be readily available answers to life-or-death questions. At the very least, there should be customer service training so people know how to solve problems, and not just push patients off to flounder and find answers to all these complex questions on their own.

What are you doing to improve the customer experience in your organization?

Image: Getty Images

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