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Interactive Text Messages Engage and Activate Medicaid Members, Research Finds

New study from mPulse Mobile, in partnership with Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), suggests positive link between two-way text messages, improved health activation, and cost savings

Los Angeles, Calif. (July 6, 2016) – Interactive and tailored text messages are successful in improving member knowledge of plan offerings, and promoting self-activation among Medicaid members, according to study results released today by mPulse Mobile. Conducted in partnership with Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), a rapidly growing Medicaid and Medicare health plan in Southern California, the study’s findings are significant as healthcare organizations moving to value-based care seek to achieve greater member satisfaction, optimal health outcomes, and lower costs.

As Medicaid-centric health plans including IEHP grow, delivering actionable information about members’ health is a priority. With a 98 percent read-rate, text messages are a high-impact, low-cost method of engagement. mPulse Mobile’s Medicaid Plan solution enabled tailored two-way mobile engagement based on the insights of member demographics, behavior, and response sentiment, allowing IEHP to reach, engage, and activate members to facilitate improved overall health.

Positive outcomes from the 3-month study of 17,000 newly-enrolled members include heightened awareness of appropriate settings for care, effective use of IEHP resources, increased response rate and engagement, and self-activation. Specifically:

  • 91% of members found that the text messages improved their overall knowledge of IEHP services
  • The number of members who reported they would visit the ER for a minor condition dropped from 11% to 4%
  • 10% of members participated in a series of health challenges with a 33% completion rate
  • The engagement score, based on response behavior and sentiment, for the study group was 2.5 times greater than the control group

The results also strongly suggest that receiving timely information regarding available healthcare services empowers individuals to utilize cost-effective resources. As the ER is the costliest setting to receive care, and Medicaid members visit the ER at twice the rate of those with private insurance, the positive impact of two-way text messaging on appropriate resource utilization is particularly encouraging.

“mPulse Mobile’s understanding of the Medicaid population and insight-driven mobile engagement solution has enabled us to connect and engage in a two-way dialog with our members, a conversation that’s led to improved knowledge of our services, generating better health outcomes,” said Susan Arcidiacono, IEHP’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re eager to apply these learnings to our broader member base and continue working with mPulse Mobile to implement innovative mobile strategies to improve population health.”

mPulse Mobile Co-founder and CEO Chris Nicholson and Behavioral Data Scientist Rena Prayaga will present the study’s findings for the first time publicly on July 13. Their presentation, ‘Utilize Interactive Text Messaging to Improve the Health of the Medicaid population,’ is a featured session at the 6th Annual World Congress Medicaid Summit in Tysons Corner, VA.

“Healthcare is increasingly becoming a consumer-centric industry, and it’s imperative that healthcare organizations offer convenient and seamless customer experiences,” said Nicholson. “The study results prove that connecting with consumers on their mobile phones in a way that is highly-tailored and directly relevant to them can make a marked improvement in the health of an individual and population.”

About mPulse
mPulse offers healthcare organizations consumer-focused mobile engagement solutions that improve member and patient engagement and create administrative efficiencies. mPulse Mobile enables the leading health plans, providers and pharmaceutical companies to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers by making healthcare communications relevant to the modern lifestyle.

About IEHP
IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, is a not-for-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. With a network of over 4,000 providers and more than 1,700 employees, IEHP serves more than 1.14 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medi-Cal, Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare), or the Healthy Kids Program. Through a dynamic partnership with providers, award-winning service and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to providing members with quality, accessible and wellness based healthcare services.


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