Clinical Blog
Published: May 06, 2022

Why payer digital transformation matters now more than ever

In an evolving healthcare landscape, payers have the unique opportunity to reimagine how they deliver care services and keep their members engaged, especially those with chronic conditions such as asthma and COPD.

During the pandemic, when providers, payers and health plan members required alternative solutions to traditional in-person care, options for virtual care and digital health technologies became more widely accepted – and grew exponentially. Now, many industry experts anticipate this shift will last, particularly as healthcare consumer expectations continue to grow.1

For payers, the added pressure to navigate this digital-first movement and meet rising consumer demands makes the adoption and integration of digital health solutions increasingly critical. Payer digital transformation will be key to providing the digitally-enhanced experiences members have come to prefer, in addition to addressing healthcare imperatives such as:

Chronic respiratory disease management

Chronic respiratory diseases are among the most burdensome chronic conditions to health plan members and the healthcare system. Nearly 25 million Americans are affected by asthma and 16 million are affected by COPD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the conditions accounting for an estimated 1.6 million and 1.5 million emergency department visits annually, respectively.2,3

The threat caused by chronic respiratory disease continues to grow, with 4 in 10 U.S. adults having two or more chronic diseases.4 Digital health tools like Propeller have been proven to help people with asthma and COPD better manage their breathing and reduce their emergency department visits.

Member engagement with clinicians

Sixty-five percent of healthcare consumers, including those with chronic conditions, now use digital health tools to help them track their health metrics – and the majority are willing to share that data with their clinicians.5 This is promising, as clinicians play a critical role in a member’s care journey. Creating integrated experiences that allow members to engage with their care teams beyond the walls of the clinic are increasingly essential in helping members make and sustain healthy lifestyle changes.

In chronic respiratory care, integrated member experiences can include digital health platforms that combine medical devices, consumer apps, clinical data for clinician monitoring and member coaching. These platforms provide thoughtfully-collected data and actionable insights to clinicians, helping them better understand their patient’s condition status and driving meaningful dialogue between members and their physicians. With higher quality objective insights, members can feel more confident self-managing their conditions, clinicians will be empowered to make more informed treatment decisions and payers can effectively evaluate care outcomes and apply learnings more broadly to a variety of member populations.

Behavior change through personalized care

Promoting positive behavior change and personalizing care are essential in improving member outcomes. Understanding key member traits and current behaviors can help create a more customizable experience, and present opportunities to engage members in ways not previously possible.  

Digital health is an immensely powerful tool for enabling personalized care, optimizing the right intervention at the right time and driving behavior change. Through regular clinical monitoring and member coaching, care teams can leverage digital health insights to develop treatment plans specific to an individual’s goals and motivations, increasing the likelihood that they will make the desired behavior change and that the change will be sustainable over time.

Interested in learning more about how to digitally transform your chronic respiratory care plan with Propeller? Email us at partnerships@propellerhealth.com.


1 Forbes, “Three Forces Driving The Consumerization Of Healthcare” (2022)
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Asthma emergency department visits, 2010–2018” (2021)
3  Tsai et al, “Factors Associated with Frequency of Emergency Department Visits for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbation” (2007)
4 CDC, “Chronic Diseases in America” (2022)
5 Rock Health Digital Health Consumer Adoption Report (2020)

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