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PBM Pilots Digital Health Solution to Improve Medication Adherence

Analysis  |  By Mandy Roth  
   February 11, 2021

Concept uses AI and daily financial incentives to improve health outcomes by inducing permanent behavioral change related to medication habits. 

You can lead a patient to the pharmacy, but you can't make them take their medication. Pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Magellan Rx Management is piloting a digital behavioral health solution from Wellth to change that dynamic. The approach features artificial intelligence (AI) technology and daily financial incentives to help members build lasting habits, according to a news release issued by the PBM's parent company, Magellan Health.

Medication nonadherence is a widespread issue, cited as responsible for possibly 100,000 preventable deaths and $100 billion in preventable costs each year.  

The pilot will focus on improving adherence and health outcomes for patients with conditions including diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, depression, asthma, and psychosis.  

Wellth uses the science of behavioral economics to drive habit formation and behavior change in people with chronic conditions, according to Caroline Carney, MD, chief medical officer of Magellan Health. "It is about more than medication adherence, it’s about transforming the way individuals manage their conditions," she said in a news release.

Related: Improving Medication Adherence

Wellth's model focuses on  rewarding members for building healthy behaviors, while also helping members use those rewards to cover real world expenses, according to Matthew Loper, CEO and co-founder of the company.

Members will receive daily financial incentives to participate in daily check-ins and submit evidence of adherence, such as a picture of their medications. Submissions are "immediately processed by Wellth’s AI technology for verification, with pertinent insights relayed directly to care teams," according to the news release. "Members get a fun, easy, and motivating experience along with instant gratification of keeping their endowed rewards, which they redeem at milestone intervals throughout the duration of their program."

“It’s about transforming the way individuals manage their conditions.”

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

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