Digital Tools, Nurse-led Care Improve Outcomes

Tailored support and targeted interventions can help avoid costly adverse events

BRIEFING
April 20, 2021
Vice President & GM, PBM Care Management

People with complex, chronic, or rare conditions have unique evolving needs, and often require additional support to help them manage complex regimens as well as symptoms and comorbidities. In fact, our analysis shows that care of patients with rare or complex conditions costs seven times more than the average patient and more than twice as much as those with a common chronic condition. 

At CVS Specialty, we have built the technological infrastructure to monitor and support patients where and when they need it to better manage their condition, improve outcomes and lower health care costs. Our innovative technology tools also enable CareTeams to offer targeted support tailored to each plan member’s unique needs, ultimately helping lower overall health care costs.

Technology solutions such as secure messaging give members convenient ways to communicate with their CareTeam when and how they choose, as well as use digital ordering, or receive electronic refill reminders and shipment notifications. Such technologies also give clinicians access to a wider range of patients’ health data, and an in-depth view of their condition and needs so that clinicians can personalize care. Use of such tools is growing among members.

Technology supporting care

Since a successful pilot among chronic myeloid leukemia patients in 2016, we have expanded our secure messaging program to 35 other conditions and 85 percent of specialty patients choose secure messaging. In 2020, CVS Health sent 25.2 million secure messages.

Secure messaging is available to members across 36 complex conditions.

We also conducted a year-long pilot for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using smart watches. Of the patients enrolled in the pilot, 96 percent uploaded health data, 86 percent reported their symptoms, and 75 percent took a walk test — a critical measure of whether the condition is well managed.Smartmonitor Apple Watch Survey Results, March 2019. Pilot study with 27 participants conducted for one year. Actual results may vary depending on benefit plan design, member demographics, programs implemented by the plan and other factors. P1003061019. 

Building on what we learned from the MS monitoring pilot, we developed an oncology symptom tracking tool – enhanced with CareTeam support – to drive better outcomes and experiences. During the testing phase of the pilot: 

Checkmark 91.4 percent of respondents completed the oncology symptom tracker survey.

All those who completed the survey received immediate clinical guidance on the severity guidance and a link to connect with a nurse. As part of the process, patients might then take an opportunity to connect with a nurse to discuss severity. Symptom severity is assessed using the symptom tracker. Those who report and track their symptoms can help improve care and cost management:

Checkmark 4 percent increase in adherence was observed for patients who digitally tracked symptoms.

The app is designed to help keep patients on appropriate therapies, ensure they can tolerate their therapy and manage side effects, direct them to needed care, and reduce emergency room admissions from side effects or symptoms.

A hemophilia pilot we launched provides real-time condition management support for  patients through digital tracking via smartphone. Patients are able to document bleed episodes, track infusions, and report symptoms to share with their CareTeam directly from the app. Real-time clinical data sent to the CareTeam helps to enable timely interventions and improve therapy management for better outcomes, a better patient experience, and lower costs. 

Greater adoption of digital tools helped to improve appropriate adherence 

Pie chart showing 84% slice 84% of new specialty patients
engaged with secure messaging are optimally adherent.
Pie chart showing 85% slice 85% of specialty patients
have opted in to email or text notifications.
84% of new specialty patients engaged with secure messaging are optimally adherent.
85% of specialty patients have opted in to email or text notifications.

Our care model is based on ongoing, targeted support from nurses and pharmacists with disease expertise. Specialized AccordantCare teams – comprised of registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and a medical director, all backed by a medical advisory board – offer holistic support for members with rare conditions through targeted interventions designed to meet each patient’s unique needs. The AccordantCare program is supported by more than 300 specially trained nurses licensed in 50 states.

Over the course of the program, clients can realize up to:
>$2,100 estimated savings per engaged member per year 11% estimated decrease in hospitalizations
Over the course of the program, clients can realize up to:
>$2,158 estimated savings per engaged member per year
11% estimated decrease in hospitalizations

Members who receive nurse care management are highly satisfied.*

Checkmark

96% are satisfied with the help that the program has given them toward better managing their condition

Checkmark

98% feel they had adequate condition understanding after starting the program up from 86% before starting the program

Checkmark

92% agree it has helped them improve their overall health, set health goals, and understand and follow their doctor's advice

Checkmark

~90% agree the program has helped them think about reasons to make good health choices, reach their health goals, feel more productive and change their behavior

*AccordantCare Patient Satisfaction

Originally published on May 20, 2020, and updated on April 20, 2021.

Want to see how digital tools and nurse-led care management can help improve outcomes? Ask Us
BRIEFING
April 20, 2021
Vice President & GM, PBM Care Management

Originally published: 106-51850C (052120)

Data source, unless noted otherwise, CVS Health Enterprise Analytics, 2020.

Savings will vary based upon a variety of factors including things such as plan design, demographics and programs implemented by the plan.

Image source: Licensed from Getty Images, 2020.