BALTIMORE, Md. (December 12, 2018) -- University of Maryland Health Partners (UMHP) and emocha Mobile Health today announced the launch of a new program to support patients with Type 2 diabetes. Patients who participate in the three-month program will use a smartphone application to submit daily check-in videos of themselves taking their medication. Participants will also be paired with an emocha Adherence Coach who will review their videos, assess whether they took their medication as prescribed, and encourage them throughout treatment. At the end of the program, those who achieve a minimum medication adherence rate with their Type 2 diabetic medications will receive a $100 gift card.
“We believe in fostering strong relationships with our members through supportive care management strategies and innovative technology,” said Mark Puente, president and chief executive officer of UMHP. “By creating a daily connection with our members, this new program will help to improve healthcare for the most vulnerable.”
In the United States, approximately half of medication is not taken properly, which leads to about $300 billion in avoidable costs every year. Often these costs are a result of emergency visits and hospitalizations caused by a patient’s condition worsening. Patients with Type 2 diabetes take medications to control their blood sugar as measured in an A1C test. If their blood sugar is not in a safe range, it may lead to serious complications such as stroke, nerve damage, or kidney disease.
Total Health Care, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with nine locations in Baltimore City and the surrounding areas, is also partnering with UMHP and emocha for the program. The providers and clinical support team at Total Health Care will serve as a resource to their patients who are participating if they need additional support throughout the program.
“We believe in taking a comprehensive approach to caring for our patients,” said Dr. Wyndy Webb, Pharm D, MBA, PMP, chief operating officer at Total Health Care. “Ensuring that patients take their medication as prescribed and supporting them through this process daily can provide a tremendous benefit to their overall treatment.”
The program launched by the Baltimore-based organizations is the first of its kind to leverage video technology and a public health practice known as Directly Observed Therapy, or DOT. DOT is a CDC-endorsed model of care that has been used by public health departments for decades to contain deadly infectious diseases. DOT is the only technique proven to consistently secure medication adherence rates greater than 90 percent.
The CDC has recognized emocha’s success in real-world settings. Additionally, peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that patients using emocha achieve 94 percent adherence rates on average. Multiple health departments using emocha have demonstrated similar adherence rates and significant cost savings.
“This is a cutting-edge program that combines the health insurer, provider, pharmacists, and technology to provide daily support to patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions,” said Sebastian Seiguer, CEO at emocha Mobile Health. “We’re excited to work with our partners at UMHP and Total Health Care who are taking a holistic and innovative approach to medication adherence.”
Patients who are interested in participating in the program should visit umhp.emocha.com to learn more.
About University of Maryland Health Partners
UMHP operates a Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO), providing managed healthcare services to Medicaid enrollees of the Maryland HealthChoice program. The company of approximately 200 employees was founded in 2011. Its Medicaid plan has approximately 48,000 members and operates in 20 counties across Maryland plus Baltimore City. UMHP works closely with its members and their doctors to provide the best possible care. The company promotes strong doctor-patient relationships through supportive care management strategies and innovative technology.
About emocha Mobile Health
emocha leverages technology licensed from Johns Hopkins University that delivers video directly observed therapy (DOT) to help people stay adherent to medication. Patients use a smartphone application to record videos of themselves taking each dose of medication and report any associated side effects. Providers assess patient data using a HIPAA-secure web portal and contact patients as needed. The platform is being used for patients with a variety of chronic and infectious illnesses in public health departments, clinical trials, opioid use disorder treatment programs, hospitals, and managed care organizations to achieve high adherence rates and retain patients in care. Learn more at www.emocha.com.
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