Medicaid plans in 20 states roll out Voxiva SMS health services

By Brian Dolan
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Tracfone SafeLinkMedicaid health plans in more than 20 states are rolling out mobile health services thanks to a new partnership between mobile health company Voxiva and mobile operator TracFone Wireless. The partnership will see the launch of SafeLink Health Solutions. The program is something of an offshoot of the federal Lifeline mobile phone program, which can trace its roots to a Reagan-era landline phone program, but is sometimes referred to as "Obamaphones" by critics.

SafeLink Health Solutions aims to help Medicaid health plans help members take a more active role in their health, increase member satisfaction, increase re-enrollment rates, and improve quality measures. SafeLink Health will equip members with a free mobile phone, free monthly service with 250 calling minutes and unlimited minutes to designated member services numbers. The program also includes free enrollment to Voxiva's text message-based health services and unlimited text messaging.

Voxiva's services include reminders for exams, screenings, vaccinations, and more via SMS.

Voxiva, founded in 2001, is perhaps best known as the enabling technology behind the Text4Baby program. Just a few weeks ago Harvard Pilgrim tapped Voxiva for text-based diabetes management programs for its members and in 2011 Alere inked a deal with the company for exclusive rights to its smoking cessation program, Text2Quit.

In 2011 healthcare benefit services provider Medagate announced a similar partnership to the one Voxiva and TracFone announced this week. Medagate and ReadyWireless inked a deal to offer free Lifeline phones to Medicaid members on Medagate's OTCMedicaid card platform. Medagate offers prepaid cards under their OTCNetwork that Medicaid members can use on eligible items in pharmacies and stores.

That partnership also included health alerts sent to members via their Lifeline phones.