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New ways to treat chronic kidney disease and using data to fight health disparities
Every day, the 300,000 employees of CVS Health work to help people on their path to better health. This work takes a multitude of forms, from improving pharmacy counter interactions to generating more insightful data for employers and health plans. CVS Health leaders often share their perspectives on various initiatives in leading health care industry publications.
A recent piece highlights our work in treating chronic kidney disease (CKD), and a second discusses how we are using data and analytics to reduce health disparities.
Lisa Rometty, President, CVS Kidney Care, authored a commentary for Fierce Healthcare about new tools we are using to fight CKD. Noting that as many as 90 percent of Americans with CKD are unaware of their condition, Rometty discusses the importance of using sophisticated data analytics to predict disease progression. Using machine learning and data on more than 20 million members, we can fashion personalized outreach and education tailored to each member. This model has allowed us to identify 105 percent more members on track for needing dialysis, informing timely interventions that have increased planned patient transitions to dialysis before an urgent health event occurs by 21 percent. Targeted care management can help prevent hospitalizations and readmissions, generating an estimated $20,000 savings per avoided admission. For more, see our related post.
Data and analytics can also play a key role in reducing health disparities, says Sree Chaguturu, chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. Writing in Healthcare Dive, Dr. Chaguturu reflected on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medication access, as revealed by analysis of prescription claims data from spring to fall 2020: The drop in utilization was highest in the Medicaid population, meaning that people from lower-income households and people of color were disproportionately affected. Due to these disruptions, potentially millions of Americans are not seeking or receiving the care they need for serious chronic conditions.
“This disparity not only puts individuals at significant risk, it can also have an impact on our entire healthcare system because untreated and undertreated chronic diseases can lead to health complications resulting in disease progression, hospital stays, and other comorbidities that strain limited resources,” he writes. For more of Dr. Chaguturu’s perspective on opportunities and challenges post-pandemic, see our recent Q&A.
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