by Jacob Luria

Helping First:

As we work with groups across the country to deploy non-clinical programs to health plans, health systems, and community benefit organizations – there is one common theme that has emerged as the key factor between the status quo and greater-than-expected patient and member engagement. That common theme is, quite simply, an offer to help first. The dominant strategy in social needs deployment today starts with assessing patients or members using a standardized screening tool. This is good work, but let’s look at two conversations to see which outreach to a member or patient may be more successful.

Option 1 – Assess, then help.

“Hi – I am from Best Health Plan Ever; may I ask you about your social determinant needs?


Option 2 – Help first, then make an ask.

“Hi – we have a food program; would you like to participate?”

If you were the recipient of these calls – which would you answer?

Clearly, the second option. In our work, we use advanced tools built from the consumer marketing industry to ensure that the right families get the right message and support from pro-active and predictive targeting.

This work brings to mind a performance marketing conference I attended as we were building the business plan for Algorex Health. The message below, which has been adopted broadly with progressive marketers, is the backbone of how our clients engage their populations (with a small modification I bet you can pick out)

Help first…. ask to see your providers and follow your care plans later.