News Feature | November 3, 2016

Aetna: mHealth Contributes To Value-Based Ecosystem Through Social Factors

By Megan Williams, contributing writer


Over the next year, HIT solution providers can expect to see both mHealth and value-based care cement their roles in the healthcare industry, if not become more important. Aetna though, expects the two to merge in a way that brings clinicians new perspective on their data and their patients, according to mHealth Intelligence.

Understanding the impact of social and cultural dynamics in healthcare has always been a data challenge, but according to Garth Graham, MD MHP and president of the Aetna Foundation, the amount of data today’s healthcare providers have access to can go well beyond just improving clinical outcomes.

Graham, who is a former deputy assistant secretary at HHS, now works at the Aetna Foundation to recognize and support programs that “improve the health of people from underserved communities and increase their access to high-quality healthcare.” He sites mHealth and telehealth as valuable tools in making this transition, largely because through technology, providers have the opportunity to reach beyond the confines of their offices and connect with patients and populations in remote locations.

This shifts the role of the physician into one where they can be a central force in empowering patients and increase understanding of their impact on their own health. This is something Graham believes is critical, “The real outcome only comes when the patient makes a decision outside the doctor’s office.” 

A Tangible Example

Graham specifically points to the Camden Coalition as an example of the potential of mHealth. The New Jersey-based organization uses mHealth platforms to aid clinicians in building better relationships with “high users” of healthcare services (patients with multiple chronic conditions who frequently rack up the highest bills.) mHealth solutions allow clinicians to better understand why these patients consume so many resources and need so much help in managing their health.

Many of your clients are likely interesting in improving their value-based care efforts, but might not have thoroughly considered the role that mHealth solutions can play. Keep a gauge on your clients’ interest levels in, and comfort with mHealth solutions to provide them a complete range of options in addressing their value-based care needs.