TRICARE Rewards; a customer loyalty incentive program

WINNER: MHS Innovation Award

Commercial business has used loyalty programs to effectively influence customer behavior for years. This innovations proposes that the MHS adopt TRICARE Rewards; a smart card customer loyalty program to influence patient behavior. Using COTS products the MHS would issue loyalty cards to enrollees. “Status” would be earned by accumulating reward points by participating in programs and activities beneficial to the MHS quadruple aim such as using an MTF pharmacy over retail to control per capita cost, or submitting a satisfaction survey, or controlling cholesterol through diet, enrolling in MTF Prime, or MCSC enrollees seeking specialty care in an MTF instead of the network. As enrollees earn points and status they get benefits. Benefit design could include priority in pharmacy queues, education programs, appointment priority, recognition by a senior leader, special parking, separate dining area, etc. With legislative authority benefits could include reduced fees or event “cash back”. By inserting smart chips into the cards we can store data and link them to many other current and future initiatives like kiosks and NFC readers. The reward card could also serve as an enrollment card. This innovation will benefit the MHS by encouraging beneficiaries to act in a way that supports our quadruple aim objectives. For example, if we can encourage more patients to use MTF or mail order pharmacy over retail the MHS can save roughly a billion dollars. Accumulating points and earning “status” is a powerful motivator. The cost of the program itself would be modest. The technology is readily available. The infrastructure exists. The hardest part is defining the behaviors and reward structure. We have lots of smart people to help with that.

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