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Health Care Authority (HCA)


THE WASHINGTON STATE HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY works to provide over two million Washington residents with medical coverage, making them the largest purchaser of health care in the state. Over the last year we’ve worked with them to build communication strategy and messages, as well as develop videos and collateral for key initiatives.

Our work has included:

  • Driving enrollment of Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program members in new, value-based health plans
  • Encouraging participation in the SmartHealth wellness program
  • Raising the profile of the strategy and successes of Healthier Washington initiatives

New Plan Enrollment – 10,000 in 30 days

HCA hired DH to educate PEBB members about new medical plan options. As the state unveils value-based plans that pay for value over volume, members are asked to consider leaving a plan they love for an even better one (a hard ask!). The goal was to inform members about the great perks: not just cost savings and an improved patient experience, but access to a coordinated network of providers committed to the latest research-based medicine and best practices.

In addition to developing and testing messaging, writing a marketing plan, and a creating a mailer for members, DH created a video using kinetic typography—perfect for people to see and hear complicated concepts broken down in a simple way.

More than 10,000 members enrolled in the new plans within 30 days and early feedback from members in the plans include:

“I don’t have to weigh costs with my kid’s health concerns anymore.”

“I have MS … I rely on my specialist a great deal … Without UMP Plus, I could not afford the treatments.”

“I am able to see the doctors I trust when I need them.”

SmartHealth – improving people’s wellness one small step at a time

With inaugural year data in hand, DH and HCA needed to boost participation during year two in the state’s wellness program, SmartHealth. This website customizes simple wellness activities for each person to promote nutrition, fitness and sleep, and decrease stress. By taking small steps each day to complete activities, people earn points toward a $125 incentive while also becoming happier and healthier. With a research-driven understanding of potential SmartHealth users and the message carriers who can reach them in mind, DH crafted a message platform and messaging matrix by audience to be used in tandem with a communication action plan for year two.

In the plan we recommend innovative strategies to make a splash including:

  • SmartHealth Week to drive enrollment including an endorsement from the Governor, special activities, and key communications.
  • SmartHealth app check-ins to showcase audience healthy behavior via social media or just in a personal record
  • SmartHealth branding like t-shirts, car clings, office signage, a mug and water bottle set, and more
  • SmartHealth leaderboards to showcase organizations participation by activity and encourage friendly competition
  • Healthier eating initiatives at state office cafes via food service vendors

SmartHealth Week alone proved successful in getting people who had signed up for SmartHealth, but never participated, to complete activities!

Healthier Washington

Healthier Washington is the state’s vision for transforming the health care system to achieve better health, better care and lower costs for the people of Washington State. DH is now kicking off work to help HCA distill the complex nature of this transformative process – topics like system linkages, accountable communities of health, and patient decision aid – into bite sized, easy to understand messages and tactics. The ultimate goal? To help patients, providers, elected officials, community leaders and more understand, see value, and want to take part in this work. We’re especially excited to create a series of success stories that will feature people whose lives have been transformed thanks to these efforts.

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