We’ve got an app for that
Using mobile technology to improve care management and drug adherence for at-risk patients. By Kim Labow
t is challenging for physicians and health plans to maintain regular contact with Medicaid patients, who typically require more healthcare services and are prescribed more medications but are often not compliant with medication regimens due to a number of socio-economic factors. As a result, Medicaid patients are at increased risk for medication errors, prolonged treat- ments and hospitalizations, all of which result in higher medical costs for all stakeholders in the U.S. healthcare system.
Kim Labow is CMO of NaviNet. For more information on NaviNet solutions: www.rsleads.com/108ht-204
Oftentimes, the only en- gagement physicians will have with their Medicaid patients is when the patient is in the office or hospital ER for a
visit – when the patient may already be suffering from health complications. Innovative Medicaid health plans are developing new strategies and implementing cutting-edge mobile technologies to get important and timely patient information to those physicians when it matters most – in those critical few minutes when they are actually with the patient in the exam room. Mobile technology can put patient information into the physician’s hands which he or she might not have otherwise seen, including claims-based medication history and non-adherence notifi cations, prior treatments, data from other physicians and clinicians, and so on.
Why mobile? Provider surveys published by Manhattan Research and SDI estimate 81 percent of physicians use smartphones, with more than 50 percent of those using the devices to access medical information multiple times daily. Chillmark Research reports that 22 percent of U.S. physicians are cur- rently using iPads, and the health marketing fi rm Aptilon reported in February that four out of fi ve doctors surveyed plan to purchase iPads by the end of the year. It makes sense, then, for health plans and other stakeholders to look into how mobile care alerts and e-prescribing can lever-
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age the physician-patient relationship to facilitate patient engagement and behavior change, improve coordination of care and optimize medication management. While in the exam room with the patient, physicians can use handheld devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, An- droid and more – to electronically prescribe medications and review the medication history sent from health plans. These mobile messaging platforms provide information about medication non-adherence, formulary benefits, notifi cations about lower-cost alternatives and need for prior authorization, enabling the physician to have in-
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