A CVS Health service designed to help CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management clients more easily roll out and manage third-party health products has added five new digital health offerings to its lineup.
The program – which has also seen a branding change from "Vendor Benefit Management" to "Point Solutions Management" – was first announced last June with only single participating vendor: Big Health, maker of the cognitive behavioral therapy-based sleep health app, Sleepio.
Now, CVS Caremark clients will have access to the following five digital platforms:
- Hello Heart, which provides patients with a connected blood pressure monitor and companion app that helps patients track their condition, provides alerts when blood pressure is out of range and offers medication adherence reminders.
- Hinge Health, which uses wearable sensors and one-on-one health coaching to deliver in-home musculoskeletal health therapies.
- Livongo Health, a disease management program that pairs connected devices to inform live coaching for a range of chronic conditions.
- Torchlight, an education and support platform designed to support caregivers via digital resources and live sessions with experts.
- Whil, a wellbeing and mindfulness tool designed around quick, daily sessions.
CVS Health said in its announcement that each of these offerings was, and will continue to be, subject to "rigorous clinical, data security and business evaluation, which includes testing of the end-to-end consumer experience by a team of CVS Health clinicians." The company also noted that its service will provide member eligibility and real-time billing verification to clients once these products are adopted.
WHY IT MATTERS
It's no easy task for an organization to vet the growing number of digital health products and services streaming onto the market. The Point Solutions Management program looks to stem this burden for its PBM clients by acting as a gatekeeper and ensuring that the digital health vendors it does recommend generate measurable clinical and financial benefits.
"Plan sponsors increasingly see the value in health care point solutions for improving workforce productivity, satisfaction and overall wellbeing, however with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to identify trusted solutions that best meet the needs of their members," Dr. Sree Chaguturu, CMO at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "We have analyzed pharmacy and medical claims to identify where these benefits can make a difference and employ a rigorous and transparent evaluation process to assure that any vendor included in Point Solutions Management meets high standards for safety, quality and user experience at the vendor's lowest price in the marketplace."
For the digital health companies themselves, programs like CVS Health's can help effective digital services stand out from the crowd, and ultimately provide a clear avenue toward reimbursement.
THE LARGER TREND
Both the initial announcement of CVS Health's program and today's update come almost in lockstep with those of Express Scripts, which has also been drumming up interest in its so-called digital health formulary. Late 2019 saw the PBM announce its inaugural lineup for the formulary, which consists of 15 digital health programs from Omada Health, LifeScan (powered by Welldoc), Propeller Health, Learn to Live, SilverCloud Health and – the only company featured in both companies' services – Livongo.
The early announcements of Express Scripts and CVS Health's initiatives have generally been well received within the digital health community. Last year, Digital Therapeutics Alliance Executive Director Megan Coder told MobiHealthNews that the next step will be unifying the metrics and credentials PBMs and other are seeking when validating these products.
“I hope that when groups like Express Scripts and CVS move forward that they do look at what the industry has already put together,” she told MobiHealthNews back in July. “We have a really broad group of companies that came together to help define this space and define some best practices. And also important to note is that our membership is international in scope, so we’re really trying to ensure that we have international perspective, recognizing that the products should be of the same level of quality and rigor regardless of where they are developed or used by patients.”