Two-way text messaging boosts engagement among Medicaid members, study finds

Medicaid members who have access to two-way text messaging communication with the payer have higher levels of knowledge about their plans and report overall heightened engagement, according to a recent study.

Conducted by mPulse Mobile in partnership with Inland Empire Health Plan, a Medicaid and Medicare plan in Southern California, the study assessed the affect two-way text messaging had on 17,000 newly enrolled members over three months.

Text messages were found to be a high-impact, low-cost method of engagement, with 98 percent of text messages being read. Additionally, nine out of 10 members said the text messages improved their overall knowledge and understanding of the health plan's services.

Eleven percent of members in the control group said they would go to the emergency room for minor conditions, compared to 4 percent of members in the study group. What's more, there was a 48 percent decrease in the number of members who said they were unsure how to obtain care.

The study aggregated an engagement score based on response behavior and sentiment toward the text messages, and participants in the study group had a 2.5 times higher engagement score than the control group.

"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 a population," said Chris Nicholson, co-founder and CEO of mPulse Mobile, in a statement.

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