Highmark taps Welltok to keep Medicare Advantage members engaged

By Jonah Comstock
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Highmark, which is the fourth largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer in the US and covers patients in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, has tapped Denver-based Welltok to offer a rewards program to members in its Medicare Advantage Passport program. 

Up until now, the Passport program has provider Highmark Medicare Advantage members with benefit information, savings opportunities and a personal care plan. The partnership will add access to Welltok's CafeWell Rewards program, which uses gift card incentives to reward patients for things like getting an annual wellness visit, getting an HbA1C screening (for patients with diabetes), or other health goals.

“We chose Welltok because of their track record of understanding and targeting consumers with the right messages and rewards in order to drive actions that lead to improved health,” Doug Fulton, vice president of government quality at Highmark, said in a statement.

Welltok's payer customers include Delta Dental, the state of Colorado, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Jersey, and CDPHP. Highmark is a major win for the company. The Pennsylvania-based insurer is no stranger to digital health products and partnerships: It launched its Health@Hand app in 2010, has tapped Iagnosis and Quartet for specialty telehealth (for dermatology and behavioral health, respectively), and caused a bit of a stir when it shifted some of its general telehealth business from Teladoc to DoctorOnDemand and American Well last year.

Welltok, meanwhile, raised $33.7 million just last week for continued development of CafeWell, other complementary digital healthcare service offerings and expansion into new market segments. The company is a major acquirer in the space and its past acquistions include IncentOne, which formed the basis of CafeWell Rewards. Welltok was, notably, the first consumer-facing partner for IBM Watson, before Watson Health even spun off formally from IBM.

“We are excited to bring together the complementary capabilities of our two organizations,” Scott Rotermund, co-founder and chief growth officer for Welltok said in a statement. “Working together, we look forward to not only optimizing the health of seniors in the Passport Program, but expanding our partnership to other Highmark members.”