Inland Empire Health Plan Successfully Uses mPulse Mobile to Reach Diverse Medi-Cal Demographic

mPulse Mobile Proves a Magnet for Funding as Market Demand Swells for itsAt the recent Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California, one of the speakers was Thomas Pham, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management.

It was a standing room only audience when Pham addressed the topic “Medicaid as a Market: Bringing Innovative Solutions to the Safety Net.”

For starters, Pham acknowledged the changes that have occurred post-ACA enactment.

“With the ACA, our population has nearly doubled in the past three to four years. That has led to a significant demographic change,” noted Pham. “Our population is now 50 percent adults and 50 percent children. We also experienced an increase in our male and young adult population. With this growth and demographic shift, I recognized that our communication strategy and messages needed to change.”

What IEHP wanted was a solution that would target the right information to each consumer demographic in real time.

“We looked at many vendors and chose mPulse Mobile to provide us with a comprehensive text message solution,” said Pham. “We were among the first Medicaid plans to use text messaging as a way to engage our members, so choosing a company that has the experience and expertise to partner with was important to us.”

An analysis of customers revealed that 70 percent of the phone numbers provided were cell phone numbers — an ideal population to reach with text messages.

“We sent a welcome message to these members, introducing our text message program. Less than 2 percent opted out, so we knew there was clear interest in text messaging as a communication channel for our members,” noted Pham.

Using the mPulse concept of “crawl-walk-run” for the engagement rollout — starting slow, making adjustments, then gearing up — allowed not only members to get used to the program, but also for IEHP staffers to “get comfortable with the platform and how to engage our members via text.”

“In the walk phase, we started bi-directional communication. We asked questions like: How would you rate your health? Would you like to participate in a health challenge? This strategy allowed us to listen to our members and provide them with helpful information that activated them based on their personal health needs,” explained Pham.

Pham said the run phase will begin in 2017. It will focus on gaps in care, as well as “deepening our tailored, contextually-relevant engagement with our members via text. The more knowledgeable and connected they feel, the more activated they become about their health.”

“Overall, our partnership with mPulse Mobile to deliver a highly-effective mobile engagement solution has improved member knowledge and use of our services, leading to better health outcomes,” Pham concluded.

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