Since 2013, MassMedia has partnered with ABQ Health Partners (ABQ HP), a physician-led medical group in Albuquerque, NM, in the development and deployment of senior-focused campaigns during open enrollment. With a goal to grow its Medicare Advantage patient base, MassMedia has implemented a communications strategy that has proven successful in the market for both the growth and retention of senior patients.

In the fall of 2012, contract negotiations hit a breaking point between ABQ HP and its largest payer partner, Lovelace Health Plan. By October, contract negotiations broke down and the groups decided to terminate their long-standing relationship. As a relatively new medical group in the market, ABQ HP had little recognition in the community, whereas Lovelace was well-known and well-liked. A lengthy public relations battle in the media ensued with Lovelace controlling much of the conversation. By the end of the open enrollment period that year, Lovelace had claimed a 94% retention of the Medicare Advantage (MA) lives at stake, resulting in a loss of nearly 80,000 patients for ABQ HP.

In the spring of 2013, ABQ HP retained MassMedia to assist in its efforts to rebuild its MA patient base. With little brand recognition and mass confusion in the market, MassMedia set out to position ABQ HP as the best option for seniors in the Albuquerque market.

At the start of 2013, more than 85% of the market was held by only two insurance companies, Presbyterian Healthcare Services (45.4%) and Lovelace Health Plan (39.8%). Both brands enjoyed the added benefit of having medical groups and/or hospitals that shared their name, as well as a significant advertising budget. With a much smaller marketing budget, ABQ Health Partners required a bold advertising campaign that would raise awareness of their brand and attract new patients. MassMedia’s team got to work, establishing a recognizable brand for ABQ HP by leveraging the brand equity of the company’s existing green apple icon—a symbol of good health—in a new and fresh way, while also bringing senior patients to the center of the messaging. Despite its competitors’ sheer size and name recognition, ABQ HP’s key differentiator lied in something much more important, its patient-centered model of care. The organization was at the forefront of providing high-quality, coordinated care in the market, and patients enjoyed unique benefits such as same-day appointments, whereas its competitors were struggling with access for patients. MassMedia developed brand messaging for ABQ HP’s 2013-2014 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) campaign that brought these important benefits to the forefront by leveraging the “Total Care Model” brand the agency had developed for the organization’s sister company in 2012, and implementing it on all messaging for ABQ HP. This would help the organization create an association between the brand and innovative, patient-focused care. MassMedia’s creative team developed and produced a complete senior-focused campaign that placed senior patients in relatable situations of feeling unwell while at familiar locations throughout Albuquerque. ABQ HP’s green apple would be introduced as a hero as the patient indicated a feeling of relief. All print and collateral executions included the Total Care seal as well as a strong call-to-action to choose a plan that allows you to see an ABQ HP doctor.

The campaign was produced for a variety of mediums including television, print and online. In addition, the agency also employed an in-clinic campaign dedicated to the retention of its current patient base and potential conversion of patients on Original Medicare to MA. The in-clinic program included patient-facing collateral (posters, brochures and desk stands) that touted the benefits of ABQ HP’s Total Care Model and a call-to-action for patients to ask their care team about the model. MassMedia also developed and trained all clinic staff on an in-clinic roadmap that included scripts for all team members to share with Medicare patients that encouraged them to consider the benefits of the Total Care Model through an MA plan.


At the end of the 2013-2014 Open Enrollment season, the client reported: