Tailored and Interactive Text Messaging Improves Chronic Condition Medication Refill Adherence in Medicare Patients, New Study Shows

According to the findings of a new three month study, tailored and interactive text messaging are powerful tools when it comes to boosting chronic condition medication refill adherence in Medicare patients.

On Tuesday, mPulse Mobile — a Los Angeles-based mobile health engagement solutions company — announced the results of this first of its kind study conducted with Kaiser Permanente.

Per the data shared, the peer-reviewed study, recently published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, found a 14 percent higher refill rate for those that received the text message intervention program.

Patient nonadherence affects 50% to 60% of chronically ill patients, and the cost of medication-related hospitalizations is $100 billion annually.

Non-adherence is a major concern in the management of chronic conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes where patients may discontinue or interrupt their medication for a variety of reasons.

While text message reminders have been used to improve adherence, no other programs or studies have explored the benefits of tailored and interactive text messages with older populations and at scale.

“The program results far exceed our expectations with 44% refill rate in the text message group as compared to 30% in the non-text group,” said the paper’s corresponding author, Rena Brar Prayaga, Behavioral Data Scientist at mPulse Mobile. “In addition to the difference in refill rates, the 37% response rate by this older Medicare population was higher than expected and patient feedback was very positive with 96% of the patients indicating that the solution was easy to use.”

The full study, “Improving Refill Adherence in Medicare Patients with Tailored and Interactive Mobile Text Messaging: Pilot Study” can be found at JMIR mHealth and uHealth.

Due to the success of the pilot study, the mPulse Mobile Medication Adherence program is being expanded to other Kaiser Permanente regions.

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