Digital health tools are a viable solution for Medicaid enrollees. The question is not whether technology will work for all, it's how to make it work for all. 

There's a pervasive misconception in the healthcare industry that Medicaid populations can't use health technology due to lack of internet or devices. A wealth of data and evidence proves the contrary. But it's also true that simply repurposing the technology used for upper or middle income patients is not going to produce the same outcome. 

In order to engage patients and have an impact, digital health for the Medicaid population needs to take into account the particular characteristics and risks of that community. What works for one demographic doesn't necessarily work for another.

A good example is the difference between SMS and email for communicating and driving engagement. SMS can reach almost anyone with a basic mobile phone, making it highly accessible — it doesn’t require internet access. Texts also tend to be read almost immediately, which is crucial for delivering time-sensitive information like appointment reminders or emergency alerts.

Compare that to email, which requires internet access and may not be checked consistently. Email inboxes can get cluttered and emails can go to spam, making it a less accessible and effective form of communication for a demographic that may have lower digital literacy and inconsistent access to the internet. 

Innovators need to be aware that solutions have to be carefully tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of Medicaid populations — with that considered, the narrative that Medicaid populations cannot benefit from digital health solutions falls apart.

To help stakeholders implement digital health tools for Medicaid, Babyscripts compiled a comprehensive white paper addressing the particular challenges and barriers to implementation for the underserved: Maternal Digital Health Landscape: Medicaid — Exploring Challenges & Solutions for Under-Resourced Maternity Populations. This guidance is built on our original research, but also from the work of hundreds of researchers and advocates who are invested in improving the lives and health of mothers and babies.

The guide does not rely on the use of Babyscripts. It's our way of giving back to a community of stakeholders that are all focused on the same goal: ensuring that every mother giving birth in the United States can do so in safety and confidence. 

Preview - White Paper_ Medicaid Playbook

By understanding the unique characteristics of the Medicaid population and addressing them through targeted strategies, we can ensure that digital health innovations reach and effectively serve Medicaid enrollees, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and a more equitable healthcare system.

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