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mHealth Watch Blog Series Week 2: Clients and Care Plans

This week, in the continuation of mHealth Watch’s blog series  they explore what happens to patients after diagnosis and instructions are provided by doctors and healthcare professionals. Sadly, 50 percent of patients do not adhere to the care plans recommended by their physicians.

Clients and Care Plans: mPulse Mobile Solution Boosts Rx Refill Rates

Consider the case of a large Integrated Delivery Network (IDN), which was concerned about the low medication refill rates among its Medicare patients with chronic conditions. According to mPulse Mobile’s Outcomes Report, call center outreach to this population only achieved an 8 percent refill rate – and the costs were high. Email and paper reminders did not drive any increases in refill rates.

Soon the IDN firm’s Pharmacy Operations Director engaged mPulse Mobile, a company that provides mobile engagement solutions for healthcare, to help devise a better solution to increase the refill rates and reduce the workload demands on the pharmacy call center staff.

A solution was designed to target Medicare patients with diabetes, hypertension, and/or high cholesterol who were partially or completely non-adherent with their medications (based on data about incomplete Rx Refills). Then came implementation of mPulse Mobile’s Rx Refill solution for Care Management.

“The solution delivered an interactive text workflow that notified patients that one or more refills were overdue,” explained an mPulse care management expert. “Patients were then able to complete the refill directly through an interactive text workflow.”

Interestingly, a ‘phone scrub’ determined that a high proportion of devices were feature phones (not smart phones), so the workflow was adjusted to require only simple numeric (1,2,3) patient responses. The solution incorporated a proprietary self-identification functionality to maintain identity-related security.

The results?

While the prior telephone outreach was operationally expensive and spurred a low 8 percent refill rate, the text-driven refill rate was 17.6 percent, with 27 percent of targeted patients engaging in the workflow.

It’s instructive that while younger Medicare beneficiaries were more likely to engage in the program than the rest of the population, the mPulse program proved effective across all age groups. Text communication decreased the back-office processing time for each prescription, helping staffers to double their capacity. Opt out rates from the program? A mere 1.6 percent.

The text-based Rx Refill Solution is one way mPulse Mobile helps healthcare organizations improve care plan adherence for patients with chronic conditions. mPulse Mobile also provides condition specific solutions that improve outcomes and are aligned to quality targets. Diabetes is an area of significant focus, with tailored mobile messaging improving adherence for HbA1c testing, LDL-C screening and retinal eye exams. Completion rates for these check-ups all form part of Diabetes Care HEDIS scores. Learn more about our mobile engagement solutions at

Next Monday, mHealthWatch will present the third blog in this series.


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