As the mass vaccination effort continues to ramp up across the country, Medicare and Medicaid payers and accountable care organizations are looking for ways to ensure their members get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Many Medicare members fall into vulnerable populations due to age, while Medicaid members can be more susceptible to comorbidities, and more making it essential that both populations get vaccinated quickly. Member populations may also require a greater level of education around vaccination due to hesitancy of the vaccine or because they may encounter logistical obstacles as they schedule and travel to their appointments.
Driving Vaccinations, Driving Equity
The equity of the vaccine roll-out has been emphasized since the first vaccine candidates were approved. For Medicaid and Medicare members, there are often significant obstacles to overcome to ensure they get vaccinated in a timely manner. Some of the most common challenges include:
- Transportation: Older individuals and those who may not have access to private transportation may find it challenging to physically get to vaccine appointments. Payers and Accountable Care Organizations may want to consider providing special transportation options to members to ensure they can get to their appointments. It will also be critical to provide dedicated member education on finding the vaccine clinics closest to members to ensure they can find a vaccination appointment that is convenient, or at least feasible for them to get to.
- Hesitancy to get vaccinated: Many pockets of the American population are hesitant to get vaccinated. To overcome those member concerns it will be critical to educate members’ on not only the safety of the vaccines available but the societal importance of getting vaccinated to ensure society reaches “herd immunity” as quickly as possible. Ensure the member education includes reliable and trusted sources for your audience.
- Vaccine Education: Educating members around the vaccine effort is critical to the vaccine campaign’s success. Education isn’t just about getting members to get vaccinated. Ensure that members are educated on every step of the process, from the decision to get vaccinated, to eligibility calendars in their state, what the dose schedules are for different vaccines, and even ensuring they know when to expect appointment reminders. When members are appropriately educated, they feel like they are properly prepared for the vaccination process and may be more willing to participate and comply.
Incorporating CVS® Gift Cards Into Your Vaccine Campaign
Incentives have been proven to drive desired behavior across many facets of society. Psychologists use incentives as part of motivational theory. In a study by the Society of Incentive and Travel Executive, employee incentives have been proven to drive performance up by 27%. So when it comes to vaccines, providing gift card incentives for Medicaid and Medicare members in order to complete their vaccine appointments seems like a natural fit to encourage vaccinations.
As more vaccine appointments take place at local pharmacies, like CVS® locations, providing CVS® gift cards to members to use after their appointment is a great way to make the whole experience positive. Members are used to seeing incentives similar to this when they come into CVS® stores for other vaccines, like flu shots, so it provides continuity along with the comfort of familiar surroundings.
Beyond the experience, CVS® gift cards paired with the vaccine doses can also encourage members to stock up on healthy items while they are already in the store. For members with transportation limitations, this can be particularly valuable, effective, and supportive of keeping members healthy in the long term.
As the mass vaccination campaign continues to ramp up across the country, Medicaid and Medicare payers and accountable care organizations need to take a vested interest in getting their members vaccinated as quickly as possible. Local pharmacies like CVS® who are fulfilling vaccine appointments create a unique opportunity for healthcare organizations to use CVS® gift card incentives to make the vaccination process easier and more rewarding for members and program administrators alike.
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