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New Study Demonstrates Improved Chronic Condition Medication Refill Adherence in Medicare Patients Using Tailored and Interactive Text Messaging

LOS ANGELES – January 30, 2018 – mPulse Mobile, a Los Angeles-based mobile health engagement solutions company, is pleased to announce the results of a first-of-its-kind study assessing the impact of tailored and interactive text message dialogues on medication refill rates in Medicare patients with one or more chronic diseases. The peer-reviewed study, recently published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, found a 14pp higher refill rate for those that received the text message intervention program.

Patient non-adherence affects 50% to 60% of chronically ill patients, and the cost of medication-related hospitalizations is $100 billion annually. Non-adherence is a major concern in the management of chronic conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes where patients may discontinue or interrupt their medication for a variety of reasons. While text message reminders have been used to improve adherence, no other programs or studies have explored the benefits of tailored and interactive text messages with older populations and at scale.

“The program results far exceed our expectations with 44% refill rate in the text message group as compared to 30% in the non-text group,” said the paper’s corresponding author, Rena Brar Prayaga, Behavioral Data Scientist, mPulse Mobile. “In addition to the difference in refill rates, the 37% response rate by this older Medicare population was higher than expected and patient feedback was very positive with 96% of the patients indicating that the solution was easy to use.”

The target population for the study consisted of partially adherent and non-adherent Medicare patients of Kaiser Permanente Southern California with one or more chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, and/or high cholesterol) that would be refilling oral diabetes medications, blood pressure medications and/or statins. Patients were divided into two groups: the text message group included over 12,000 patients and the non-text group included over 75,000 patients. Patients in the text message group received tailored medication refill reminder dialogues that consisted of a series of messages including prompts to authenticate by date of birth, complete a refill, ask for help, share reasons why they had not refilled, or choose to opt out of the program by numeric or textual responses on their phone.

The full study, “Improving Refill Adherence in Medicare Patients with Tailored and Interactive Mobile Text Messaging: Pilot Study” can be found at JMIR mHealth and uHealth. Authors of the study are Erwin W Jeong, PharmD, Harmony K Noble, BA from Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Rena Brar Prayaga, MA, JD, Erin Feger, BA, Magdalen Kmiec, BA, Ram S Prayaga, MS from mPulse Mobile.

Serving the Safety Net: Two New California Health Care Foundation Reports

California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), an mPulse Mobile investor and partner, worked together with FSG to research what safety net providers and plans are looking for from the private sector to help address social determinants of health. mPulse Mobile was asked to contribute to this research as a private sector company that creates innovative mobile solutions specifically designed to address social determinants of health. In addition to companies like mPulse Mobile, CHCF and FSG spoke with many leaders at safety net providers and plans.

The results of this research appear in a new CHCF series called Primed. The first two reports in the Primed series were written from the safety net research of which mPulse Mobile contributed. Medicaid Pilots Open Door for Innovation in California provides an overview of the new policy incentives and trends driving California’s payers and providers to innovate in delivering health care. Addressing Social Factors in the Health Care Safety Net dives deep into specific opportunities and challenges for innovators seeking to address the social determinants of health.

These reports highlight the outcomes of their research in some really powerful ways such as a chart showing both clinical and business imperative side-by-side, demonstrating where clear positive business outcomes for improving clinical outcomes. Download the full report to see this chart.

In addition to these reports, CHCF created an interactive infographic that highlights some companies already making an impact on Medicaid. mPulse Mobile is featured under the Engagement and Access section.

CHCF is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of safety net populations as well as the innovations available and in development to serve the needs of the safety net. Through the CHCF Innovation Fund, CHCF specifically invests in organizations like mPulse Mobile that are dedicated to better serve Californians in the safety net by improving the quality of care, lowering the total costs of care and / or improving access to care.

mPulse Mobile is proud of our partnership with CHCF and our continued work to improve the quality of care and information safety net populations receive. You can learn more about our Medicaid solutions here or download our whitepaper to read the results of a 3 month interactive text messaging study we conducted with a Medicaid plan.