Livongo Health, Mount Sinai to roll out diabetes management program in NYC

By Jonah Comstock
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Livongo Health's device for monitoring blood glucose.

Livongo Health, the diabetes management startup launched last year by former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman, will roll out its platform to a large group of New Yorkers via the Mount Sinai health system. The program, which has already been available to Mount Sinai employees, will now start to be available to patients in the Mount Sinai network.

"With several hundred thousand individuals covered under our value-based care arrangements, and that number growing rapidly, we are shifting our care models accordingly, and Livongo will play a key role in supporting our efforts to effectively manage diabetes—a chronic health condition that affects more than 10 percent of New Yorkers,” Niyum Gandhi, executive vice president and chief population health officer at Mount Sinai, said in a statement. “Mount Sinai remains committed to transforming healthcare in New York, and we are proud to collaborate with innovative companies such as Livongo to help us meet the goals of our health system and the community.”

Gandhi told MobiHealthNews that 250,000 of Mount Sinai's covered lives are under a shared savings arrangement of some kind, with 50,000 more in deals that are signed and ready to go. That amounts to a little over half their covered lives. Livongo will be rolled out in conjunction with existing Mount Sinai diabetes management services available from the Mount Sinai Clinical Diabetes Institute and the Mount Sinai’s Diabetes and Cardiovascular Alliance.

"Over the next six months or so we’ll start going live with populations that we manage at Mount Sinai in some kind of shared risk model," he said. "We have to do that payer by payer, some are going to go live pretty soon. Basically over the course of 2016, we can make it available to our patients with managed Medicaid, Medicare advantage, commercial health plans, and some self-funded employers as well."

Livongo's diabetes management program consists of connected devices, a smart cloud, and a virtual care team. The device, called In Touch, serves as both a connected glucometer and a pedometer and allows easy sharing of the data. It’s a standalone cellular-connected device with a color touchscreen. The program also offers unlimited test strips at no extra charge. Using a combination of data from the device,  electronic health records, and medication records Livongo performs data analytics and pushes out insights and alerts to the user, their friends and family, or their care team.

Since its launch, Livongo has been deployed with self-insured employers Office Depot, Mercer, and information management company Iron Mountain as well as large healthcare systems including Mission Health System and HealthCare Partners. The company is also working with a number of payers and has an agreement underway to integrate the platform with Cerner’s electronic health record. Livongo raised $20 million in April to build out its platform, and has raised a total of $30 million so far.

"We are excited to build on the great work Mount Sinai is doing in diabetes management today," Tullman said in a statement. "With our connected technology, real-time data, and predictive analytics, we are partnering to bring a robust program to empower thousands of Mount Sinai employees, dependents, and the health consumers Mount Sinai serves who are challenged with managing diabetes to live better."

Gandhi said that Mount Sinai is always on the lookout for cost-saving programs they can implement in their shared savings programs, and is keen to partner rather than trying to re-invent the wheel every time.

"We don’t have 20 years [to innovate all these solutions ourselves]," he said. "We have less than five years probably to move toward value-based care and population health because we have a healthcare crisis in this country. ... It’s our responsibility as providers in the community to become part of the solution rather than let ourselves become part of the problem, and part of that is innovating at a faster clip. That’s what drew us to Livongo and that's what will draw us to people doing interesting, innovative things that we can evaluate, launch, test, and scale."