The health plan is one of several healthcare organizations to develop a list of curated digital health apps and programs that can be prescribed for members or integrated into connected care treatments.
Digital health apps give healthcare organizations an opportunity to direct resources to patients in need of specialty care, but matching the right resources to the right patient is difficult when the marketplace features hundreds of thousands of apps.
To tackle that dilemma, health systems like Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis, Froedtert, and Banner Health and health plans like Cigna, Optum, and Express Scripts are developing formularies, or platforms that contain vetted apps and digital health programs. Healthcare providers are then able to prescribe apps that meet the requirements for efficacy and privacy.
Evernorth, the health services business of Cigna, recently added five new digital health platforms to its Digital Health Formulary, giving members access to care management resources to address sleeping issues, inflammatory conditions, anxiety, and substance abuse.
The company has also launched four pilot programs aimed at evaluating new digital health programs for clinical impact and user experience.
“Evernorth continues to expand our Digital Health Formulary to address unmet health care needs of patients with chronic and complex medical conditions,” Glen Stettin, the company's chief innovation officer, said in a press release. “The latest additions give patients access to new and affordable options to improve and maintain their health while making it easier and cost effective for our clients to include these solutions in their benefit plans."
Health plans can offer these apps to their members as a prescribed treatment or integrate them into a connected care program that includes the collection and analysis of biometric data with medical, lab and pharmacy services.
The five programs added to the Digital Health Formulary are:
- Big Health's Sleepio app, designed to help patients dealing with insomnia;
- Big Health's Daylight app, which addresses anxiety;
- The Quit Genius app, which helps users dealing with alcohol and opioid use disorder; and
- HealthBeacon's Injectable Care Management System, aimed at assisting people living with inflammatory conditions.
The four pilot programs, meanwhile, will test the efficacy of the following apps:
- Jasper, which addresses oncology issues;
- Zerigo, designed to help people dealing with psoriasis and eczema;
- Hinge Health for women's pelvic health, and add-on to Hinge Health's Digital Musculoskeletal Clinic, which was added to the formulary in in 2021; and
- Lid Sync, which addresses medication treatment adherence.
"The Digital Health Formulary is one of the ways we can connect employers, insurers, and patients with innovative, affordable, and evidence-based care that meet their broader healthcare needs," Stettin said in the press release.
Evernorth officials say the digital health apps now in the formulary, which are offered in benefit plans covering more than 20 million US members, have helped the organization save more than $120,000 per solution.
Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.