Evaluating a Pilot Mobile Health Program

Project Overview

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is supporting a pilot of the mobile health program Text4baby. This pilot aims to assess the effect of Text4baby on enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as on health knowledge, health behaviors, and health care engagement among those who are eligible for CHIP. Despite the interest in and potential of mobile health (mHealth) programs, the effect of mHealth on health knowledge, behavior, and outcomes has not been conclusive despite several studies that focus on the effects of this type of intervention on socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Limited evidence in these studies highlight the need to further assess key implementation factors related to outreach, enrollment, and engagement that might explain variation in outcomes, especially among the disadvantaged populations that might benefit the most from mHealth interventions.

As a subcontractor to Mathematica Policy Research, Insight will conduct qualitative research with key stakeholders and pilot participants to determine the effectiveness of Text4baby in the Medicaid population and will explore possibilities for scaling up and replicating the pilot mHealth program within and across States. Finally, this research will provide guidance for implementing similar programs to address additional health topics or conditions in the Medicaid population.

As part of the research, Insight will:

  • Identify stakeholders for interview inclusion from State Medicaid agencies, local perinatal health outreach partners in pilot States, and representatives from program leads who are designing and disseminating the Text4baby messages.
  • Design and develop interview protocols for in-depth interviews and focus groups.
  • Conduct stakeholder interviews and focus groups.
  • Prepare a report on findings to be included in the report to CMS.

Core Activities

Interview Protocol Design and Development; Qualitative Data Collection; Report Development


Interim evaluation reports will be produced to provide a comprehensive representation of the past year’s activities and report research findings. A final report will be produced for CMS at the end of the study. This report, which will be submitted in May 2018, will present findings from all 3 years of study on the pilot mobile health program, incorporating analysis from the formative and summative evaluation. It also will include additional discussion around implications for the future of Text4baby or similar mHealth programs within the Medicaid, pregnant and postpartum, and broader populations.