BOSTON, Aug. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- DynamiCare Health, a national digital care program for alcohol, nicotine and other drugs, announced the first-ever randomized controlled trial to evaluate a digital care program using motivational incentives for alcohol use disorder in a Medicaid population.
Vermonters are more likely to drink alcohol and binge drink than residents of most other U.S. states (NSDUH 2018). Thanks to a federal National Institute of Health (NIH) grant obtained with the support of the State of Vermont's Department of Vermont Health Access and Department of Health, DynamiCare's digital care program will become accessible to the State's Medicaid population to increase retention and alcohol abstinence. The program's clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness will be evaluated in a $1.6M NIH-funded study in partnership with RAND Corporation. Launching in September 2020, the study will recruit 300 Vermont Medicaid members.
As a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, conventional clinics are challenged by the need for strict physical distancing among clients and staff. Digital care programs, however, are well-positioned to offer personal addiction telehealth services from home.
Dr. Scott Strenio, Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Vermont Health Access explained, "Vermont Medicaid is always interested in pursuing innovative ways for patients to access care in a manner that supports their medical needs while offering proven clinical outcomes. The ability to deliver healthcare for this and other common medical conditions in rural as well as urban settings through the clever use of an electronic application is the wave of the future."
DynamiCare's digital care program integrates a smartphone app with breathalyzer tests verified by selfie video, a smart debit card that blocks harmful spending, and weekly video calls with a certified recovery coach to drive healthy motivation and accountability. The program uses motivational incentives, an evidence-based intervention that offers financial rewards for healthy behavior. In a prior study, DynamiCare was found to double the rate of verified abstinence in an outpatient alcohol use disorder clinic.
Dr. David Gastfriend, Chief Medical Officer of DynamiCare, added, "Despite strong evidence for motivational incentives, their use has been elusive without insurance coverage. DynamiCare has broken through this barrier with multiple commercial health plans. This study is a breakthrough in deploying this methodology with state agencies."
This study is funded by a NIAAA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant.
NOTE: Research reported is supported by the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers 1R43AA026234 and R44AA026234. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Alexandra Plante, [email protected]
SOURCE DynamiCare Health