New Fashions of Care within the Put up-Covid Healthcare World




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The 2020 HLTH VRTL convention centered on how the COVID-19 disaster is accelerating developments which can be reworking healthcare. On this article, I’ll describe the image painted by the audio system of what the soon-to-be post-COVID well being care world will appear like.

I considered the convention by means of my multifocal lens as a monetary analyst, advisor, and affected person and in line with my mission at Your Autoimmunity Connection, I saved one query in thoughts:

How may these accelerating post-COVID developments assist sufferers with the subset of power inflammatory ailments with which the group is most involved: autoimmune and autoinflammatory problems?

Recap and hyperlink to Half 1

In Half 1 of this story, I described how COVID-19 has accelerated the usage of telemedicine and distant affected person monitoring. On the similar time, it has speeded the migration from FFS by displaying {that a} VBC reimbursement mannequin could be a extra dependable income stream for practices in disruptive occasions. These disruptor-driven developments have additionally spurred new main care supply fashions and shopper competitors for the digital entrance door as described under. Corporations highlighted in Half 1 have been Amwell, Oscar Well being, Massachusetts Normal Physicians Group, and Aledade.

Rising developments: new fashions of care

Novel, experimental main care supply fashions are rising from inside and out of doors the present system. Not solely huge gamers (payers, suppliers, follow techniques, and revolutionary employers), but additionally DTC on-line and walk-in acute care, “doc-in-a-box” on-line suppliers, drugstore, retail, and tech giants are all competing to be healthcare digital entrance doorways.

1. Modifying current built-in supply techniques

Geisinger Well being System

Geisinger Well being System (GHS) is a regional well being care supplier to central, south-central, and northeastern Pennsylvania in addition to southern New Jersey. Headquartered in Danville, Pennsylvania, Geisinger’s footprint consists of:

        • over Three million sufferers in 45 counties 
        • 9 hospitals,
        • a 550,000-member well being plan,
        • two analysis facilities
        • Geisinger Commonwealth Faculty of Drugs.

It has been well known for delivering high-quality healthcare at a low value by means of an built-in supply system mannequin.

Jaewon Ryu, the President and CEO of Geisinger, mentioned,

“Major Care is the entrance door and it’s how we drive affordability. We’ve been on a journey over the past three years on which we’ve got been redesigning main care. We imagine there is a chance to introduce totally different flavors for these with a number of power circumstances.”

What does this imply for autoimmune and autoinflammatory care?

As a big built-in supply system, Geisinger has already developed services and products that would doubtlessly assist autoimmune sufferers, similar to:

      1. The “myGeisinger” affected person portal: 24/7 appointments, message your care staff, and extra.
      2. Geisinger at-home program. Right here is their listing of the power circumstances included:
        • most cancers
        • dementia,
        • coronary heart illness
        • kidney illness.

These are apparent targets for geriatric populations, however what about different power circumstances that would profit from house visits? That features extra extreme autoimmune and autoinflammatory circumstances, together with power fatigue and post-viral (led by post-COVID) syndromes.

2. New fashions of main care

One Medical

One Medical is a membership-based, technology-powered main care model-of-care. It affords seamless digital well being and alluring in-office care. The places of work are handy to the place individuals work, store, reside and log on. Their imaginative and prescient is to please tens of millions of members with higher well being and higher care whereas lowering prices. Its mission is to remodel well being look after all by means of a human-centered, technology-powered mannequin.

Their suite of companies goes past the normal main care to incorporate

        • 24/7 digital care
        • similar or next-day appointments
        • on-site lab companies
        • longer appointments.

These kinds of companies give sufferers extra handy entry.

Amir Dan Rubin, CEO of One Medical, defined,

“We try to remodel healthcare by means of our modernized main care strategy and concurrently tackle the wants of key stakeholders.”

  He continued,

“We’ve created a workers mannequin, HMO-like strategy hidden in concierge sheep’s clothes. We’ve all salaried main care suppliers. We’ve constructed our personal software program utilizing machine studying to route the messages to digital staff members. As well as, we get reimbursed at an organizational degree by means of standard insurance coverage. However we’ve got additionally constructed the underlying incentives to ship value-based, coordinated care.”

However will this enhance autoimmune care?

Enhancements in care collaboration and coordination, together with a extra preventive mindset associated to value-based care (VBC), may benefit autoimmune sufferers. Nonetheless, care supply fashions should to decide on to give attention to them.

One Medical’s power illness listing, as traditional, omits point out of autoimmune, autoinflammatory, and immune-related power inflammatory circumstances. Till such circumstances are greater than an afterthought, these main care improvements are unlikely to enhance autoimmune/autoinflammatory care. Though improved look after a lot of these sufferers could possibly be a aggressive edge for brand spanking new firms in the event that they seize the chance.

Firefly Well being

Firefly Well being is a virtual-first, main care, behavioral well being, and system navigation service. Their care groups embrace the next:

        • a well being information,
        • a nurse practitioner,
        • a behavioral well being specialist, and
        • a main care doctor.

Their service choices embrace same-day appointments, video visits, fast prescription refills, and extra time with suppliers.

Fay Rotenberg, CEO of Firefly Well being sees main care as “bonding, steering, and well being care fiduciary.”  She says,

“We’re reworking from a reactive, transactional, doctor-centered mannequin, in direction of a proactive, personalised, digitally-enabled strategy that helps wholesome behaviors to drive higher outcomes and decrease prices. Our mission is to supply half-priced healthcare that’s twice nearly as good clinically and emotionally.”

Firefly Well being was designed with the patron in thoughts so it’s simple to make use of. First, obtain the app, then join together with your care staff who might help you in individual, just about, and by way of chat.

Their tech-enabled digital care platform, Lucian™, is constructed to trace customers’ care over time. For diagnostic testing, Firefly has an in depth, curated community of companions, a few of which provide in-home testing. As well as, their groups can handle power ailments similar to diabetes and hypertension. For extra critical circumstances, they associate with specialists.

How would possibly Firefly Well being advance autoimmune care?

The Firefly Well being tech-enabled digital care platform and coordinated care groups supply components that could possibly be directed to assist autoimmune and different power immune dysfunction sufferers higher handle their day by day well being points. 

I can think about how Firefly Well being’s proactive personalised app may increase its performance to assist autoimmune sufferers with way of life modifications that would decrease stress ranges and scale back flares. However there’s no point out of power fatigue or autoimmune/inflammatory on their web site. As an alternative, it’s simply the same old point out of hysteria, diabetes, and hypertension as examples of power circumstances.

They have already got behavioral well being specialists on care groups, and as we all know, psychological well being points, particularly anxiousness, loom giant in autoimmune sufferers. Perhaps psychological well being is the wedge to get Firefly Well being to give attention to immuno-inflammatory illness sufferers, too.  

Competitors for the Digital Entrance Door 

Will group pharmacies be the subsequent neighborhood healthcare vacation spot, an more and more digital entrance door to greater than prescription and OTC merchandise?

Submitted by writer

1. Walgreens – from pharmacy to retail clinics   

Walgreens is a part of the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., a worldwide chief in retail and wholesale pharmacy. They function greater than 9,000 retail areas throughout America, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens is taken into account a neighborhood well being vacation spot serving roughly eight million prospects every day.

Walgreens pharmacists present a variety of pharmacy and healthcare companies. To finest meet the wants of shoppers and sufferers, Walgreens affords a real omnichannel expertise, Their platforms convey collectively bodily and digital well being care supply mechanisms. They’re supported by the most recent know-how to ship high-quality services and products in native communities nationwide.

Alex Gourlay, the Co-Chief Working Officer at Walgreens, thinks that

“Placing collectively the household physician and the native pharmacist with HIPAA-compliant well being info and offering actually native options for sufferers and prospects each bodily and digitally will open the entrance door of well being care.”

Sooner or later, he believes that the native pharmacy will give attention to well being (prescriptions, counseling, and polypharmacy administration), well-being (vaccines, blood stress, and lipids monitoring) in addition to some acute diseases. He hopes that making the pharmacy an vital a part of the digital entrance door will enhance preventive well being by making it extra accessible at decrease prices, particularly to individuals of decrease socioeconomic assets.

Will this be a brand new entrance door for power autoimmune sufferers?

Walgreen is partnering with Village MD to open co-located physician–led main care clinics. They explicitly point out concentrating on power illness sufferers, however we suspect that, as traditional, they’ve diabesity, coronary heart, lung, and kidney illness of their sights, not autoimmune/inflammatory.

It’s fairly simple to see how this mannequin could possibly be useful for autoimmune sufferers, e.g., early detection of rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid illness, however we might want to see if their plans even give attention to this inhabitants.

Submitted by writer

2. CVS/Aetna – from retail Rx to a broader strategy to healthcare

CVS/Aetna connects shoppers with the well being assets of CVS Well being in communities throughout the nation in addition to amongst Aetna’s community of suppliers. The objective is to take away obstacles to high-quality care and construct lasting relationships with shoppers. They hope to make it simpler for them to entry the knowledge, assets, and companies they should obtain their finest well being.

CVS Well being footprint consists of the next:

        • 9,800 retail areas
        • roughly 1,100 walk-in medical clinics
        • a pharmacy advantages supervisor with roughly 93 million plan members
        • a devoted senior pharmacy care enterprise serving multiple million sufferers per 12 months
        • increasing specialty pharmacy companies
        • a number one stand-alone Medicare Half D prescription drug plan.

CVS Well being additionally serves an estimated 39 million individuals by means of conventional, voluntary, and consumer-directed medical insurance merchandise and associated companies, together with a quickly increasing Medicare Benefit providing.

Larry Merlo, President, and CEO of CVS Well being mirrored that

“As an organization, we’re 20 months into reworking the enterprise with CVS and Aetna coming collectively. The pandemic turned a chance to reprioritize components of the transformation journey to ship well being companies, create new options, and make them accessible in nontraditional settings.”

He sees a future the place they will play a task in fostering dependable public well being info. Given the quantity of dis- and misinformation round vaccines, the approaching huge COVID vaccine rollouts are a chance for CVS as a significant cold-chain distributor and vaccine dispenser to play a constructive function.

Karen Lynch, EVP CVS Well being and President of  Aetna commented

“We have been frequently innovating round new services and products whereas shopper habits was altering quickly because the virus was raging. Individuals wish to entry healthcare digitally. Supply of extra well being care within the house than earlier than means we are going to proceed to see transformational adjustments in healthcare post-pandemic.”

How may this assist autoimmune care?

For autoimmune and autoinflammatory sufferers, making the nook pharmacy extra accessible will solely be marginally useful for some routine care (e.g., vaccinations, common prescriptions). Nonetheless, house supply of prescription and OTC merchandise could be a life-saver for autoimmune sufferers in voluntary or involuntary isolation. 

Nonetheless, if firms like Walgreens and CVS may work out a extra consumer-friendly strategy to distribute and administer infusion biologic medication, that could possibly be a game-changer. Having access to biologics could possibly be a part of placing clinics contained in the pharmacy that target the wants of autoimmune sufferers by streamlining among the extra routine and repetitive features of their care.

As I mirrored on pharmacies changing into the digital entrance door, I puzzled if dental places of work, which at the moment see many shoppers twice a 12 months for his or her common cleanings, will even attempt to increase their choices. Dental practices are already screening sufferers for oral most cancers, sleep apnea, and periodontal illness (which may set off autoimmune illness and flares). Maybe they will increase this listing to supply thyroid screening, diet teaching, and different companies that relate to the mouth as a gateway to the remainder of the physique, together with to the immune system.

New supply fashions give attention to ladies’s, household, and behavioral well being

Along with the increasing function of the pharmacy in care supply, there are different new opponents. Some examples observe from ladies’s, household, and behavioral well being. On-line clinics are experimenting with novel supply fashions, utilizing ladies’s well being wants because the digital entrance door.

Submitted by writer

Maven – digital ladies’s and household well being

Maven is the world’s largest digital clinic in ladies’s and household well being. They provide on-demand entry to over 1,000 ladies’s and household healthcare suppliers. In addition they join their purchasers with devoted care coordinators who personally assist customers navigate their advantages.

In line with Katherine Ryder, the Founder, and CEO of Maven, 

“At Maven we owe higher care to the subsequent era and this begins with a give attention to household well being.”

She continued,

“one of many silver linings of COVID is that digital well being firms with new digital fashions to assist extra holistic and patient-centered care can have a extra pressing place in our system at present.”  As well as, “we’re integrating care for fogeys with care for teenagers to assist the well-being of your entire household.”

Implications for autoimmune care

Ladies of childbearing age are at greater threat of autoimmune, autoinflammatory and circumstances like power fatigue syndrome than another demographic. With Maven’s give attention to household well being, they may simply supply screening for autoimmune problems, together with genomic testing (which they’re doubtless doing already for fertility and household planning functions) to determine those that are at greater threat.

This could possibly be built-in with their intergenerational strategy, trying to detect and even forestall power immuno-inflammatory circumstances of their sufferers’ kids. They might assist join autoimmune sufferers with specialists and even coach them in way of life modification approaches that will scale back their probabilities of growing illness, or at the very least get them earlier analysis and therapy.

Submitted by writer

kindbody – fertility and reproductive well being

kindbody is increasing entry to fertility and reproductive well being with digital or in-clinic look after fertility, gynecology, and wellness. With clear pricing, their web site consists of pricing info for companies similar to IVF, egg freezing, and embryo banking, in addition to diet counseling. Care groups can embrace an ob-gyn, endocrinologist, doctor assistant, and a wide range of counselors and coaches.

In line with Gina Bartasi, the Founder and CEO of kindbody-

“kindbody is on a mission to extend entry to fertility and family-building look after all. 50% of our company staff identifies as non-caucasian, 45% of our sufferers are ladies of colour and 15% are GBTQ+ so once we take into consideration creating change, we’re actually being conscious of at present’s social inequity.”

Implications for autoimmune care

For autoimmune sufferers, a lot of whom are ladies of colour with low incomes (a gaggle that faces slower analysis and fewer aggressive care), a logical extension of kindbody’s present choices may embrace autoimmune screening as a part of genetic testing used for household planning in addition to routine thyroid screening for autoimmune thyroiditis, the most typical autoimmune ailments amongst ladies.

Moreover, kindbody may assist join autoimmune sufferers with specialists and even coach them in way of life modification approaches that will scale back flares or their probabilities of growing a illness or at the very least get them earlier analysis and therapy.

Submitted by writer

brightline – Behavioral well being for youngsters, teenagers, and households

brightline is reinventing behavioral well being care for youngsters, teenagers, and their households.They ship built-in care by means of revolutionary know-how, digital behavioral well being companies, and a collaborative care staff centered on supporting kids throughout developmental phases and their households.

Given the continuing explosion of psychological and behavioral well being points amongst kids, teenagers, and younger adults, particularly underneath the stress of COVID-19 lockdowns, the present setting is ripe for an answer like brightline.

In line with Naomi Allen, CEO and Co-Founding father of brightline, we’re

“offering unusual assist to the most typical household challenges in behavioral well being”

As proven under, brightline affords the broadest multidisciplinary care groups of any of the businesses (not simply the feminine/household choices) profiled in these posts. This represents extra silo-busting coordination of specialists than any of the opposite platforms. As an advocate for autoimmune sufferers, I’m comfortable to see this revolutionary strategy getting used. I’ve offered screenshots to point out this aggressive benefit.

brightline offers entry to all kinds of suppliers, together with:

        • behavioral well being therapists,
        • occupational therapists,
        • speech therapists,
        • coaches, and others,

Amongst different companies, they provide tailor-made content material, telehealth visits, therapy plan monitoring, and digital workout routines at house. 

Submitted by writer

Significantly noteworthy is their strategy to prevention, which features a yearly pediatric properly go to as proven under.

Submitted by writer
Submitted by writer

Might brightline work for autoimmune sufferers too?

Brightline is an instance of numerous multidisciplinary care groups being scaled by means of digital know-how to assist kids with all kinds of remedy packages. Higher care coordination and specialist collaboration is required by autoimmune sufferers, too. What’s extra, autoimmune sufferers, an rising variety of them kids, nearly all the time have comorbid psychological well being points, primarily despair and anxiousness.

It will be a logical extension of the Brightline strategy to succeed in out to their temper dysfunction sufferers to see what number of of their households endure from power ailments, particularly autoimmune, perhaps even undiagnosed immuno-inflammatory problems.

Taking this even additional, a platform like this might work for power GI circumstances with immunological features such because the IBDs (inflammatory bowel ailments: Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis). Given what we now know concerning the gut-brain axis, GI ailments nearly all the time contain a giant psychological well being element.

Particularly, brightline may supply IBD sufferers entry to care groups that embrace gastroenterologists in addition to dieticians, well being coaches, and psychologists that would assist them higher handle their day by day lives between common appointments. Such an strategy may assist IBD sufferers keep away from flares and problems requiring pricey hospitalizations or emergency visits.

As well as, making use of brightline’s prevention strategy to their inhabitants of households may permit earlier identification of IBD, particularly in kids, when early way of life modifications (weight-reduction plan triggers, meals sensitivities) would possibly forestall the illness altogether.

Abstract and conclusions concerning the 2020 HLTH VRTL convention

The HLTH VRTL convention was a superb alternative to seize a glimpse of among the adjustments led to by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden, pandemic-triggered  the next adjustments:

1. A rise in the usage of telemedicine and distant monitoring (hyperlink to half 1),

2. A shift in fee fashions to VBC (hyperlink to half 1) that’s accelerating competitors for the digital well being entrance door (hyperlink above)

3. A spurring of a wide range of new care supply fashions. (hyperlink above).

4. Growing competitors for attracting sufferers by means of the digital entrance door that features an expanded function of pharmacies, in addition to new, digitally enabled, built-in approaches to ladies’s and household well being.

All through HLTH VRTL there was nearly no point out of autoimmune or different power immuno-inflammatory ailments, making it more durable to see how these new gamers would possibly assist sufferers with these circumstances.

This omission is telling by way of the place healthcare managers are focusing their efforts. Whereas psychological well being is now receiving extra (well-deserved) consideration, autoimmune, autoinflammatory, and circumstances like power fatigue and post-viral syndromes, simply as pricey and as huge a reason for human struggling as most cancers, are nonetheless invisible to most payers and plenty of suppliers.

Perhaps the emergence of post-COVID syndromes (aka lengthy covid) will lastly immediate payer and supplier curiosity in power immuno-inflammatory problems in the identical method the pandemic & lockdowns have speeded beforehand gradual progress in telehealth and work at home.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy for autoimmune sufferers and far experimentation is required, particularly since so little has been performed outdoors a handful of small firms which can be largely centered on particular person autoimmune ailments.

I hope subsequent 12 months’s HLTH convention will supply extra tangible examples of how giant and small healthcare firms are utilizing telemedicine, distant affected person monitoring, new supply care fashions, together with VBC reimbursement to higher serve the person day by day wants of power autoimmune sufferers. 

Elevating and enhancing the function of main care by means of digitally-enabled platforms and salaried physicians in each established supply techniques and new care fashions may additionally profit immuno-inflammatory illness sufferers. Nonetheless, it will solely occur if payers and suppliers give attention to this large unmet want/enterprise alternative.

We nonetheless surprise the place immune illness specialists: dermatology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, immunology, endocrinology, match into these fashions. Are specialists going to develop into members of coordinated care groups? Or will they be in satellite tv for pc practices coordinated by means of digital platforms that assist chronically unwell sufferers get the complete spectrum of care they want? How will these new fashions and digital platforms deal with the complexities of power autoimmune and autoinflammatory illness analysis and therapy?

Such questions can be good ones for HLTH and its members to give attention to for 2021.



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