DC Medicaid payor will offer med adherence texting platform for asthma patients

By Jonah Comstock
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A Memotext intervention for diabetes. A Memotext intervention for diabetes.

A new text messaging software aimed at improving medication adherence will be offered to asthma patients who are members of AmeriHealth District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.'s largest Medicaid managed care organization. The platform, called HealthNHand, was developed by Memotext and will be launched by pharmacy benefit management company PerformRx.

HealthNHand will use interactive voice responses, email, and text messages to remind asthma patients in the program to take their medication and to fill out questionnaires about their health. The service will use data from the questionnaires to craft personalized responses to patients about their condition, including information, support, and air quality forecasts.

Users can choose to share the data the platform collects with their healthcare provider, or they can log on through an online portal to access it themselves.

"Through HealthNHand, we are able to meet members where they are ─ on their smartphones and other devices ─ with programs that they, themselves, can customize," Karen Dale, market president for AmeriHealth District of Columbia said in a statement. "It's an innovative way to extend our care management and empower members with a tool to help them manage their own care."

Memotext has been working on text-messaging-based medication adherence for some time. Back in 2011, Memotext worked with Microsoft and Johns Hopkins University to study the efficacy of using the Memotext adherence solution combined with Microsoft’s personal health tracking platform HealthVault. Glaucoma patients in the study received some combination of text message reminders and interactive voice response messages to remind them about their medication regimen.

When patients used the combined technologies, researchers found adherence to daily glaucoma therapy increased from 51 to 67 percent. The control group, with no intervention, saw no change in adherence.