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Medicaid app helps Michigan residents manage health on-the-go

The Michigan Department of Community Health and information technology firm CNSI are offering Michigan residents a new interactive mobile application and online portal to track medical records while on-the-go, proving that the mhealth sector continues to grow wider in 2015.

The Medicaid technology comes in the form of a mobile app, myHealthButton, and an online portal, myHealthPortal, that encourage connectivity between customers and providers and offer patients the convenience of not needing to carry around physical insurance cards. Patients may now access their medical information in a real-time environment, regardless of their location.

?The myHealthButton application allows all Medicaid, MiChild and Children?s Special Health Care Services members use the application to access information regarding their benefits,? said Jennifer Smith, public information officer at Michigan Department of Community Health, MI. ?Members can update their insurance online to avoid access to care issues, identify Medicaid and Medicaid Health Plan enrolled providers to schedule appointments and view any co-pay related charges. 

?These are only a few benefits of the application; this application helps make health care information accessible,? she said.

Health management resources
The mobile app and online portal are designed to give users firsthand resources to better manage their personal health. Their health care benefits and services are placed directly in the Michigan Department of Community Health?s hands, so that health care providers can efficiently gather data to produce more informed diagnoses and decisions for patients, in addition to top quality care.

Residents are encouraged to use the platforms, which offer one-stop access to medical records, to promote self-awareness and responsibility for proper health. They may also track important health measures via their mobile devices.

Users will also enjoy a plethora of other features, including easy access to digital images of their mihealth cards, authorized diagnoses, provider search options and provider listings for beneficiaries of the Children's Special Health Care Service.

?Currently, members can view physician information to contact their physician directly,? Ms. Smith said. ?Once they schedule an appointment, they can utilize the calendar to store the appointment and receive reminders. 

?We are always working to develop innovative approaches to improving access to health care information, and this includes looking at new features to add to the application.?

MyHealthButton is currently available for Apple and Android platforms.

The app, along with the online portal, are the first available on the new MILogin system powered by Michigan's Department of Technology, Management and Budget. This partnership results in more secure software that promises protected health information.

Both applications are available for use by members enrolled in Michigan?s Medicaid program and the Children?s Healthcare Services program or MiChild program.

Rising mhealth sector
The mobile health sector has steadily been gaining more support from top brands such as Walgreens, WebMD, Kellogg?s and Microsoft. The growing popularity of wearables and activity trackers has also enabled more consumers to demand integrated applications that allow them to track fitness levels and health records.

This year, fitness wearable Fitbit is teaming with Kellogg?s for a giveaway of Fitbit Flex activity trackers, in conjunction with a promotion appearing on more than 15 million packages of Special K cereal (see story). Consumers will be eligible to win the complimentary tracker if their box contains the offer.

Microsoft has also announced its partnership with Fitbit, with which it plans to make logging food and activities even easier via its in-app experience for the wearable. Microsoft has also been attempting to dominate the mhealth sector by making its cloud-based Microsoft Health service available for all mobile device platforms and joining forces with top brands such as Starbucks for cross-partnership opportunities (see story).

Pharmacy brand Walgreen?s is also marking its stake in the industry by integrating its Balance Rewards program with WebMD?s mobile application (see story). Users will receive bonus points, that are redeemable for Walgreens purchases, after achieving specific fitness goals through the Your Digital Health Advisor platform.

While the Medicaid app is only available for Michigan residents, it is likely that other local governments will be following in the Midwestern state?s footsteps by offering members of Medicaid quick access to their medical records and providers.

?We recognized a demand for this new member portal and worked with CNSI to use information within our CHAMPS system to make it happen,? Ms. Smith said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York