News Feature | November 26, 2014

Startup Focuses On Medicaid Engagement, Logistics, And Technology Services

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

ONC Pushes For Health IT Innovation With Startup “Challenge”

Health:ELT has developed a set of apps designed specifically for Medicaid.

Health:ELT, a Dallas startup, announced it is raising $2.5 million which will be used to create digital tools for managing Medicaid patients.

Patient engagement is the new buzz word in healthcare, and when it is used in commercial insurance plans it could mean anything from incentives for health behavior to providing consumer pricing and quality tools. But, as Cade Havard, chairman and CEO of Health:ELT explains, “In Medicaid, it means ‘see if you can find me,’” according to MedCity News.

Health:ELT bills itself as “the only Medicaid engagement, logistics, and technology services company in the United States” and “offers a suite of services that include member engagement, automated assessment tools, assessments, clinical support and reporting, case management tools and support, automation for specialty reporting and redefining workflow processes, and provider database management.”

According to a Health:ELT pilot engagement study, most states and health plans are unable to locate even 40 percent of their members at any given time. And with over 72 million Americans currently on Medicaid, this is highly problematic as their study points out. If members can’t be located, they cannot be assessed; and if their needs are not identified, their behavior cannot be modified.

Health:ELT used 1,000 unreachable high utilizers from a Medicaid MCO and, as a result of the pilot, engagement levels rose from 37 percent to 73 percent in just six months, reduced emergency department visits in half, and reduced hospital admissions by 35 percent.

To engage the missing populations, they turned to Facebook, locating and scheduling 9 percent of the group via Facebook.

The study also found that in the most troubled Medicaid region in Texas, one health plan’s assessments authorized 44 percent more PAS hours than any other plan. Through judicious authorizing, that plan could save up to $140 million annually.

Amanda Havard, Health: ELT's CIO, told mHealth News, “Nobody in Medicaid is using (mHealth) tools in-house or out in the field … to find and continuously talk to these people” and most patients “have never been given a chance to deal with their health plans. They don't have continuity of care.”

Frank Siano, former chairman of Medicaid Health Plans of America, a principal at Acanthus Consultants and a member of Health: ELT's board of directors, told mHealth News that because of “social barriers” to accessing healthcare, Medicaid patients don’t always get the proper healthcare management, which leads to unnecessary treatments. “It's not uncommon that 20 percent of a state's Medicaid population consumes 70 percent of the Medicaid funds,” he said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars could be saved” if patients could be located and assessed properly.