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    10 key insights into mobile messaging and Medicaid managed care

    From big data to apps to sensors, mobile technology has exploded globally over the past three to five years, and its rise has made a significant impact on all types of industries, not excluding healthcare.

    The explosive growth of mobile technology coupled with the onset of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has essentially forced healthcare payers and providers, specifically Medicaid managed care organizations, to reassess how they are engaging with their members.

    Daily client operations, observations and conversations with health plan and hospital executives led to the culmination of these 10 key insights into how the industry has evolved:

    1. Readiness

    Mobile messaging has become a C-level priority for Medicaid plans. The mindset has changed from tactical buy to strategic investment. Why? First, it's an established fact that Medicaid beneficiaries have mobile phones. Very often, it's their only phone. Second, mobile messaging is ubiquitous. Everyone's got it, everyone uses it. Perhaps the clearest indicator of readiness is that Medicaid health plan executives are now much savvier buyers than before, from their vendor evaluations to the mobile strategies they share.

    2. Member validation

    While some states are more conservative than others, we are seeing a turning point. The year 2013 largely established a few key fundamental building blocks. The first is that Medicaid plan members want to communicate using mobile messaging, as evidenced by their participation and the spectrum of text conversations. Second, they are willing to use their personal text message plan to communicate with their health plan, even with disclaimers that messaging rates may apply.

    3. HEDIS+

    About 90% of health plans that deploy mobile messaging target HEDIS improvement as Phase I of their implementation. This is likely because the use case is low risk and quick to deliver early results (if structured correctly). Furthermore, as compared to a mailing that may cost over $10,000 per batch, mobile messaging offers cost-effective year-round engagement. Why HEDIS+? Numbers show that members are demonstrating a very strong inclination to use texting for a myriad of other health plan communications.

    Neng Bing Doh
    Neng Bing Doh is the co-founder and CEO of HealthCrowd

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