When researchers at the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™ launched their first study on how to make diabetes health coaching calls more effective, their partners at Envolve knew just where to look for participants: Louisiana Healthcare Connections (LHCC), a Centene managed Medicaid plan. The LHCC leadership is extremely supportive of the work being done at the Envolve Center, and Louisiana, like so many other states, has a high incidence of diabetes.
“The research projects tie in nicely with what we are trying to do for our members, which is to improve health outcomes,” says Kendra Case, chief operations officer for LHCC. “The academic research studies allow us to offer members opportunities in addition to what we can provide as a health plan.”
All Centene health plans – and their members – will ultimately benefit from the groundbreaking exploration into sustainable health behavior change at the Envolve Center, but the learning is more “up close and personal” for those plans involved in the studies. Participation also allows health plan leaders to discuss findings with researchers, along with ways of applying them to their programs.
In addition, the collaboration helps health plans demonstrate to state partners that they’re committed to the health and welfare of their members. “If we can demonstrate that preventive measures do help with health outcomes, we are hopeful that state contracts will begin including more of these elements,” Case notes. “We have to convince them that spending a little money up front will ultimately save more in the end.”
One research project that Case finds especially intriguing is the peer coaching component of the Raising Well pediatric obesity program. Based on evidence of increased participation and improved outcomes with a more personal and individual approach, home visits by trained individuals with similar backgrounds and experiences were added to Envolve’s standard telephonic coaching model.
“I like the idea of having someone who really understands the situation available to talk to our members,” Case says. “Establishing a relationship in the home is more impactful than when a coach calls from an office. Having the data to back that up helps us support our members in ways that have the best chance to make a difference.”
In addition to Louisiana, health plan members in Missouri, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire and California are taking part in nine ongoing research studies with the Envolve Center. Their participation is crucial to the program’s success.
“Our Medicaid membership is a special population and we can only learn about them by working with them,” says John Porter, vice president of the Envolve Center. “This collaboration with the health plans allows our research partners to apply their ideas and bring them to the real world.”
About Envolve, Inc.®
Envolve, Inc.® is a family of health solutions, working together to make healthcare simpler, more effective and more accessible for everyone. As an agent for change in healthcare, Envolve is committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. Envolve unifies specialty pharmacy, PBM, vision, dental, 24/7 nurse advice services, diabetes management, MSO solutions, and more. For more information, please visit our website www.envolvehealth.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.