MCG and Agile Health Unveil Next Generation Care Management Tool

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Text-Message Based Care Provides Condition-Specific Guidance

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MCG Health, part of the Hearst Health network and a leading provider of informed care strategies, and Agile Health, Inc., a pioneer in mobile healthcare engagement solutions, today announced important new enhancements to an innovative transitions of care tool.

The program, known as myAgileLife|Welcome Home, provides interactive text messaging support to patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital. The 90 day curriculum helps guide patients through a successful recovery by engaging them in a 2-way dialogue that promotes adherence to care plans, medication therapies, nutritional recommendations, and activity guidelines. The ultimate aim is to help patients avoid readmission while extending the reach of their care teams.

“Once a patient is at home, discharge instructions can be very confusing,” observes Kelly Roberts, RN, MSN who leads Primary Case Management in the Population Health Department at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. “With myAgileLife, our team finds that giving patients direct text messaging access to a nurse without the barrier of busy offices, being placed on hold, and waiting for voicemail callbacks, engages patients in timely communication and discussion.”

The new version of Agile Health’s Welcome Home program has been aligned with MCG’s Transitions of Care Guidelines, which made their debut in the 20th Edition of Care Guidelines published last month. The condition-specific evidence-based guidelines have helped expand and enhance the myAgileLife messaging curriculum to directly support discharged patients who have been hospitalized for one of the diagnoses CMS has specified for early readmission penalties.

The announcement was made during Hearst Health’s exclusive Care Guidance Client Forum. The semi-annual meeting, held this year in New Orleans, focuses on managing healthcare quality by combining practice-proven content, innovative technology, and guiding the moments of care that are most impactful to patient safety, recovery, and outcomes.

“Combining best in class transparent intelligence with broadly accepted communications is key to patient engagement and clinical outcomes." said Jon Shreve, president and CEO of MCG. "myAgileLife|Welcome Home is the first of several programs that will leverage MCG’s clinical guidelines and medical intelligence along with Agile Health’s messaging capabilities and behavioral expertise to deliver informed care strategies and patient engagement solutions.”

Reducing readmissions is a national priority for payers, providers, and policymakers. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) prioritizes the reorganization of systems and services to reduce readmissions as foundational to redesigning health care delivery models and accountable care initiatives. Since 2015, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has penalized hospitals for 30-day readmissions associated with five diagnoses: heart attack, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, total hip replacement and total knee replacement. Beginning in 2017 the policy will include patients admitted for coronary artery bypass graft.

In addition to outbound text messages for patients, Agile Health's communications platform also serves as a Digital Coaching Hub for care managers. It connects patients to care teams in three ways:
1. Patients receive daily, scheduled, clinically validated, behavior-centric message curriculum, including messaging tailored to their discharge diagnosis and post-discharge instructions.
2. The messaging program provides on demand, in-the-moment keyword support to patients around the clock.
3. The Digital Coaching Hub gives care managers full visibility to assess patient interactions and progress. Care team members monitor patient communications in real-time so they can initiate engagement or respond quickly and effectively to patient concerns.

“Both our patients and our care teams have benefitted tremendously from the 90-day Welcome Home Program and Digital Coaching platform. It’s been a real boost to our existing intensive 30-day post-discharge program. We are excited to give these patients extra clinical guidance and support materials – delivered directly to their phone - when and where they need it,” said Janet Appel, RN, MSN, Sharp Rees-Stealy Director of Population Health Management. Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Center is a valuable MCG client and a former Doyle Award winner. Appel went on to say, “Agile Health continues to create and refine programs that are improving and extending the successful 30-day outcomes we already experience with our existing care transition strategy.”

myAgileLife|Welcome Home combines the strength of MCG Transitions of Care Guidelines with powerful behavioral science and text messaging technology, to improve health outcomes and patient experience during the critical post-discharge period," said Scott Werntz, president of Agile Health. "With MCG, we are helping care teams connect more people to the healthcare they need, by offering specific guidance and support for a complete and lasting recovery."

About MCG Health
MCG, part of the Hearst Health Network, helps healthcare organizations implement informed care strategies that proactively and efficiently move patients toward health. MCG’s transparent assessment of the latest research and scholarly articles, along with our own data analysis, gives patients, providers and payors the vetted information they need to feel confident in every care decision, in every moment.

About Hearst Health
MCG is part of the Hearst Health network, which also includes FDB (First Databank), Zynx Health and Homecare Homebase, Hearst Health International, Hearst Health Ventures and the Hearst Health Innovation Lab. The mission of the Hearst Health network is to help guide the most important care moments by delivering vital information
into the hands of everyone who touches a person’s health journey. Each year in the U.S., care guidance from the Hearst Health network reaches 84 percent of discharged patients, 174 million insured individuals, 41 million home health visits, and 4 billion prescriptions.

About Agile Health
Agile Health is a mobile health engagement company that leverages the power of text messaging to drive better health outcomes through lasting health behavior change. Agile’s secure, proprietary platform delivers highly interactive, evidence based and clinically validated programs to improve high value health conditions. Clients benefit by engaging more people, more intensively, and more cost effectively. For more information, please visit

1. Hospital Guide to Reducing Medicaid Readmissions. (Prepared by Collaborative Healthcare Strategies, Inc., and John Snow, Inc., under Contract No. HHSA290201000034I). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; August 2014. AHRQ Publication No. 14-0050-EF.

2. Fact Sheet. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2015, CMS to Improve Quality of Care during Hospital Inpatient Stays.

3. Readmissions Reduction Program Overview (HRRP):

Media Contacts
Arri Burgess
Tel 206 389 5405

Lorrie Anderson
Agile Health
Tel 407 234 8209

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