Payer-covered Digital Health Approach Improves Patient Experience and Outcomes
The Froedtert & MCW health network and Network Health, a Wisconsin-based health insurer, today announced they are improving patients’ ability to manage diabetes by using digital health as part of the care team’s treatment approach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 34 million Americans have diabetes in 2020, up from 27 million in 2018, showing a pressing need to address this chronic disease.
Glooko, a digital health platform used by patients and their physicians to collect and share their diabetes and activity data, is prescribed to patients by their medical provider through Xealth, a digital health and workflow optimization platform, enabling providers to increase their visibility into how patients are managing their diabetes. Patients receive a better understanding of how their body is interacting with food, exercise and medication such as insulin as well as a deeper connection with their care team.
“People living with diabetes can experience rapid and dangerous changes to their glucose and A1c levels, making visibility into these changes important for ongoing care,” said Bradley Crotty MD, MPH, chief digital engagement officer and internist with the Froedtert & MCW health network. “As the first health system in the U.S. to add Glooko to our digiceutical formulary, we recognized the value it brings to patients early on. With Xealth delivering the Glooko mobile app for patients, clinicians have integrated access to the patients’ current information which leads to more informed patient care decisions, even when the patient cannot visit the clinic in person.”
The Froedtert & MCW health network began prescribing Glooko through the Xealth platform within the EHR workflow in December 2018 to patients with diabetes. Network Health is a key partner of the Froedtert & MCW health network, and based on early data showing improvement for patients, embarked on a unique partnership to expand its use for members. In January 2020, one particular patient began using the mobile app after extreme glucose (422) and A1c (10.4) levels left her fatigued, with no saliva, and worsening eye sight that resulted in her being hospitalized.
“Feeling tired and unwell, I went to see my doctor not realizing how extreme my diabetes had become,” said April, a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “The experience scared me to make the changes necessary to improve my health. When I was contacted by a Certified Diabetes Educator RN working with my doctor who prescribed the Glooko app, I gave it a try. It allows me to see trends, follow activity, food combinations, target times to eat – really see what is happening with my body. Within four months, my A1c level is normal at 5.4!”
“We are driven to create healthy communities by working with health care providers to deliver innovative solutions,” said Dr. Greg Buran, chief medical officer at Network Health. “This includes bringing technology into play for managing chronic conditions like diabetes. By offering members the resources they need from the doctors they trust, Glooko and Xealth are helping our members achieve better health.”
Diabetes data collected by Glooko is securely shared with the patients’ physician and can be visualized in actionable charts and graphs, creating a solid foundation for doctor-patient collaboration and confident treatment decisions. Although the digital health app is available to any diabetic patient via all app stores, incorporating Xealth’s digital health platform with clinician recommendation has shown increased patient engagement rates as compared to a direct to consumer approach.
“Glooko has strengthened our diabetes outreach team’s ability to guide patients willing to share and remotely monitor blood sugar levels and support improved self-management,” said Deborah Wessberg, RN CDE, Froedtert & MCW Enterprise Care Coordination and the Ambulatory Diabetes Outreach Program.
“Integrating the broad capabilities of Glooko, Xealth, Froedtert & MCW and Network Health has proven to improve the overall health of the patients in the program. We are excited to join forces with these industry partners,” said Russ Johannesson, CEO of Glooko.
“Using the Xealth platform, which is integrated directly into Froedtert & MCW health network’s EHR, to prescribe Glooko gives physicians easier access to proven diabetes management tools and patients have support that their physicians recommend,” said Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth. “To date, clinicians have ordered Glooko for 900 Network Health patients, so that is at least 900 more people who are working together with both their care teams and insurer to improve their health.”