Many health plans are currently considering how to manage creation and distribution of marketing materials due to members September 30. The reality is, health plans have two options:
- Develop materials in-house, and outsource printing and fulfillment to a vendor; or
- Outsource the entire materials production process – materials creation, and print and fulfillment – to a vendor
The prospect of not having to create materials in-house may appeal to many marketing directors. However, with health plans operating on tight budgets, many may think that outsourcing the entire process would be too costly.
But, if outsourcing your member materials production could pay for itself, wouldn’t it be worth considering?
How Outsourcing Materials Production Can Save Health Plans Money
The concept health plan leaders should keep in mind is that short-term expenses can yield long-term savings. And these savings could very well outweigh the costs involved.
Outsourcing materials production to a vendor will incur an expense in the form of the fee you pay the vendor to provide this service. In paying for this service, health plans could experience the following money-saving benefits:
- Reduction in FTEs
Health plans that outsource materials development may be able to reduce in-house staff. Full-time equivalent staff (FTEs) require salaries, benefits, workstations, equipment and other expenditures.
It’s possible that the savings a health plan experiences in reducing unnecessary FTEs could more than pay for the fee to outsource materials creation.
- Mitigate Expenses related to Noncompliance
Outsourcing materials development and production to an experienced vendor with an excellent track record and the right tools mitigates a health plan’s compliance risk.
Managing materials creation in-house is very difficult and wrought with compliance risk. Missing deadlines and distributing documents with incorrect information can result in hefty Civil Money Penalties (CMPs) from CMS. It also requires health plans to mail out costly Erratas to members. Outsourcing to the right vendor helps health plans avoid these potentially extremely costly compliance-related expenses.
- Decreased Printing and Mailing Costs
Many health plans spend more than necessary to print and distribute member materials. A materials creation vendor with extensive experience developing materials and working with printers will be able to make recommendations for decreasing these costs.
For example, combining certain materials into one document rather than producing multiple versions will save on printing costs, as well as postage since packages will be smaller. Mailing documents well in advance of the September 30 deadline will also save money on postage, as the plan can send materials via Standard Mail rather than the more expensive First-Class, Priority Mail or Priority-Express Mail. Also, experienced vendors will be familiar with the best printers for the best prices and can apply economies of scale to benefit all clients.
If your health plan is considering outsourcing its entire member materials production process, contact us today for a consultation.