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CMS Awards Three-Year Contract to Support Text4baby in Four States

PRESS RELEASE
National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB)
4401 Ford Avenue
Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22302
MEDIA CONTACT:
Rachel Griffith, rgriffith@hmhb.org or 703-797-1945

Project focused on improving key maternal and child health outcomes.

WASHINGTON (October 7, 2013) –Following a competitive bidding process, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded a three-year contract to support the implementation of the text4baby service in four states in collaboration with state Medicaid agencies. Text4baby is the nation’s largest and only free mobile health service that makes it easy for expecting and new moms to receive important health and safety information.

CMS will work with text4baby founding partners Voxiva and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) to expand efforts to enroll Medicaid beneficiaries in the service, customize text4baby messages to include state-specific information and assess text4baby’s impact on improving health outcomes.  The project will focus on improving a range of specific health quality measures including rates of pre- and post-partum care and well-baby visit attendance.

The project builds on the partnership between CMS and Text4baby announced in 2012.

“This support from CMS will help demonstrate the critical role text4baby can play in improving health outcomes and how it can become part of the standard of care for mothers and babies who can benefit most,” said Text4baby Director Sarah Ingersoll.

Women who sign up for text4baby by texting BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 receive three personalized text messages per week timed to their due date or baby’s birthday.  The messages cover a broad range of topics from pregnancy warning signs to the benefits of full-term delivery to breastfeeding to oral health.  Text4baby also includes interactive appointment and immunization reminders, educational videos and mobile web pages, links to health-related services and urgent health alerts.

Since its launch in 2010, text4baby has enrolled over 630,000 moms and delivered over 75 million health messages and urgent alerts.  Analysis of text4baby data and external evaluations of the service have demonstrated significant positive results:

  •  In a study conducted by the California State University San Marcos National Latino Research Center and the University of California San Diego:
    • 74% reported that text4baby informed them of medical warning signs they did not know;
    • 65% reported text4baby helped them remember an appointment or immunization that they or their child needed; and
    • 67% reported that they talked to their doctor about a topic they read on a text4baby message.
  • A George Washington University-led randomized evaluation found that text4baby mothers were nearly three times more likely to believe that they were prepared to be new mothers.
  • 52% of text4baby respondents self-report receiving Medicaid/CHIP and 13% report they are uninsured. Text4baby provides uninsured moms with information and resources to obtain free or low-cost health insurance and one week later 51% of respondents report applying for Medicaid/CHIP.

CMS is currently working with Voxiva and HMHB to determine the target states for the pilot project.  Once the states are selected, the partners will work with the State Medicaid agencies, Medicaid managed care organizations, health providers and other partners in each state to expand efforts to enroll Medicaid beneficiaries in the service.  The text4baby messages will also be customized in each state so that users receive state-specific information on available health services and benefits.  State partners will also have access to real-time text4baby data on enrollment, utilization and self-reported outcomes.

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About Text4baby

Text4baby is the nation’s only free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health through text messaging. A free program of the nonprofit National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), implemented in partnership with Voxiva, the Founding Sponsor is Johnson & Johnson. Founding partners include The Wireless Foundation, and Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company). A special thanks goes to the carriers who support text4baby so the service can be free to the end users: Alltel, Assurance Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost Mobile, Cellcom, Cincinnati Bell, Cricket, MetroPCS, n-Telos, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, TracFone, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile U.S.A. Text4baby’s public-private partnership also includes over 1000 national, state and local organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.