Six months after the initial rise of COVID-19, health leaders across the country gathered at the 2020 Rock Health Summit to discuss lessons learned, silver linings from the pandemic, and how organizations are shifting to address forecasted issues to come.
Among discussions around the pandemic, one of the greatest reoccurring themes centered on the role of digital health in caring for diverse patient populations. In case you missed it, we’re sharing our three main takeaways.
In the breakout session “Perspectives from the Frontier of Personalized Healthcare,” Lloyd Minor, PhD and Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine, highlighted how COVID-19 has made the “tragic effects” of social determinants of health “graphically apparent.”
Realizing that diagnoses are not the only things that impact a patient’s outcomes, many organizations are scrambling to discover what other influences play a role in patient outcomes and how to address them with more personalized healthcare.
“Personalized health entails tailoring care to each individual patient’s needs across the entire patient journey—from before diagnosis to during treatment and even after intervention. Precision medicine is a key pillar of personalized healthcare, and it’s fundamentally about using patient-specific data to tailor the treatment part of the patient journey.”
-Sirj Goswami, Founder and CEO of Insight RX
Solutions like Wellth that gather member data to create a more personalized user experience will become key in the personalized healthcare revolution. By tailoring not only the care or medication given, but the member’s experience in keeping to a care plan by leveraging both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, care plan and medication adherence improves—as do patient outcomes.
As healthcare organizations feel the strain of the pandemic on both human and financial resources, measurable data that shows significant patient outcomes proves even more critical in getting buy-in from organizations and their providers. Peter Long, PhD and Senior Vice President, Healthcare & Community Health Transformation, Blue Shield of CA, explains:
“Too many organizations are making small contributions in healthcare while asking for very high payments. That’s not value-based care. You have to be able to show the impact of your results, and prove that it’s your work.”
On the flip side, programs that are able to prove measurable results in reducing key cost drivers such as ED utilization and readmissions through significant improvements in care plan adherence and preventative care can contribute meaningfully to value based care arrangements.
For example, the Staten Island Performing Provider System was able to use Wellth to help change member behavior—achieving 86% medication adherence and reducing ED utilization by 92%. These results are not only statistically significant alone, but become even more significant when tied to greater cost savings through reducing unnecessary acute care. By setting up at-risk program fees—where a provider only pays when the member is adherent—ROI becomes even easier to justify.
At the onset of the pandemic, many healthcare organizations scrambled to implement telemedicine programs using transitional funds provided by the government. As that funding fades, though, the question remains: what will happen to telemedicine and other remote care initiatives?
During the breakout session, “In-Person Care as Option B: Digital Health Comes of Age,” Meghan Fitzgerald of Columbia University leads a discussion about the importance data-driven technologies will continue to play post-COVID-19 as brick-and-mortar provider options become more readily available.
Digital solutions can add value by bridging the gap between providers and members once that member leaves the office (or ends the video chat!). Programs like Wellth that facilitate daily check-ins give providers visibility into member behavior, allowing real-time feedback for real-time intervention when things like blood pressure, glucose levels, or even just taking medications as prescribed go ary.
While digital health cannot replace in-person interaction for some things, it provides useful support in improving provider-patient connectivity while reducing the time burden of manually calling to check in on patients.
To learn more about leveraging digital health to personalize and improve care while reducing costs through Wellth’s principles of behavioral economics, check out our eBook available here.
Rock Health is an investor of Wellth.