Study: Text reminders helped Amerigroup members book physical exams

By Aditi Pai
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Amerigroup Washington members who both had a TracFone Lifeline phone and had enrolled in Connect4health, Voxiva's health texting program, were three times more likely to attend their annual physical exam within 90 days of receiving text reminders, according to an analysis of national Amerigroup claims data.

More than 200,000 Amerigroup members across 11 states have enrolled in Connect4health and 3,500 members belong to Amerigroup Washington.

Voxiva's Connect4health service offers users personalized messages that prompt them to schedule appointments for physical exams, preventive screenings, flu shots, and vaccinations. It also connects members to other services and benefits available to them through Amerigroup.

In July 2014, Voxiva partnered with wireless phone company TracFone, to create a program, called the SafeLink Health Solutions program. This offering provides Amerigroup members with a phone, monthly service, free calls to their health plan, and Voxiva’s Connect4health messaging program at no additional cost.

“In the busy world that we all live in, any tool that helps remind us of important events like scheduling an annual physical is extremely useful,” Amerigroup Washington President Daryl Edmonds said in a statement. “By providing members with tools designed to improve their health outcomes, we are achieving our goal of building healthier generations of Washingtonians.” 

Amerigroup's national program data also found that 71 percent of Amerigroup members said Connect4health messages helped them remember to visit their doctor, 52 percent said they learned about benefits offered through Amerigroup, and 36 percent said they talked to a doctor or nurse about topics in the messages.

“The data clearly shows that when individuals have access to a phone with mobile health technology, it will lead to a stronger and healthier life,” TracFone CEO F.J. Pollak said in a statement. “Empowerment over one’s health is a great tool and we are extremely proud of our relationship with both Amerigroup and Voxiva in helping thousands of members take control over their own health.”

A month ago, another Voxiva study, this one conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and Public Health Institute, found that subscribers of Text4baby -- a texting program created in part by Voxiva for new and expected mothers -- are engaged with the texting program, would recommend it to others, and have gained knowledge about critical maternal and child health topics after using it.

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly checks out the Microsoft HoloLens aboard a space station on February 20, 2016. The device is part of NASA's project Sidekick, which is exploring the use of augmented reality to reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency with which astronauts can work in space. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)