WebMD Ignite launches new member engagement platform for payers

WebMD Ignite is launching a new suite of tech tools it says will help payers turbocharge their clinical programs.

The new HealthHub Interactive offering bundles three of its platforms together into one package that allows insurers' clinical teams to engage with members in a more personalized way. WebMD is well known for offering medical and health information to consumers, and it launched the Ignite brand about a year ago.

HealthHub Interactive includes the HealthHub solution, which connects members with thousands of articles, images and other educational materials that can be used to help scale and grow care management programs. HealthHub Advisor provides users with evidence-based assessment tools that can be used to identify, manage or prevent risk factors for disease.

The final piece, HealthInteractive, offers a personalized, interactive tool members can use to help make decisions about their care outside of the clinical setting.

Ann Bilyew, executive vice president for health and president of the Healthcare Solutions Group at Internet Brands, WebMD's parent company, told Fierce Healthcare that health plans often have to invest significantly in care management programs to make them work, and signing on with WebMD Ignite can make that process easier.

Improved care management and engagement drives member retention, a critical metric for insurers, she said.

"This has the ability to reach members, engage members, and help them make decisions about the next logical step in their care," Bilyew said. "And to influence them to be proactive and fully engaged in their care."

"So there's a significant ability for health plans to have a positive impact on their members health over time," she added.

WebMD Ignite has already established strong ties with many providers, and it has been able to offer them targeted solutions that identify the right patients at the right time. That carries over into member retention for insurers, Bilyew said.

In addition, the platform allows insurers to see whether there are populations that are less engaged with their health and make targeted outreach to them.

"We have the data to help a health plan … understand their populations, and where there's opportunity for them to improve engagement, and hopefully, ultimately improve outcomes," she said.

WebMD's recent acquisition of Healthwise also helped spur this launch, Bilyew said, as it brought with a massive library of resources and educational materials patients can access. It also had existing relationships with payers that the WebMD Ignite team can build on.

"That sort of gave us the opportunity to leapfrog a bunch of work we'd have to do over the course of the next 12 to 24 months," Bilyew said. "And now that we have these relationships with all of the top payers and all of the top care management systems, we're able to bring new solutions to market more quickly."