Rock Health News5/6/20

Redefining patient adherence: Our investment in Wellth

People generally understand that a particular action—such as taking medicine or measuring blood pressure—is beneficial for their health. But the complexity of behavior change and the reality of individuals’ lived experiences often means there’s a mismatch between motivation and ability to follow through. While there have been some attempts to improve adherence with tech-enabled reminders and coaching, they have largely missed the mark on patient motivation. Push notification reminders can quickly become a nuisance, patients already know what they “should” do, and connected devices like smart pill bottles capture lots of data but fail to spur any meaningful motivation.

Wellth, on the other hand, is a pioneer in a new wave of digital health solutions. By bringing together the science of human motivation, best-in-class technology, and the human touch, Wellth is able to engage those previously unengaged in their care journeys. The result? Patients get—and stay—on track. On average, Wellth members demonstrate an 89% care plan adherence rate over a 12-month period, consistently creating habits in the most at-need populations.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce our investment in Wellth, a company pairing the power of behavioral economics with technology to create motivation and improve health outcomes at scale. Rock Health is proud to join Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, yabeo, DaVita Venture Group, AXA Venture Partners, NY Life Ventures, NFP Ventures, and I2BF in Wellth’s $10M Series A.

Care plan adherence is one of the thorniest challenges facing healthcare today. Patients take only half of their prescribed medication doses, and nearly one quarter never fill their new prescriptions. With a myriad of underlying causes, the effects of nonadherence in the US range from nearly 125K deaths to at least 10% of hospitalizations per year.

Lack of adherence to care plans is not just a problem for patients—it has repercussions throughout the entire healthcare system. In the US alone, nonadherence results in nearly $300B of preventable healthcare costs per year. This trend is only worsening as chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) become more prevalent, often within underserved populations.

To tackle this seemingly insurmountable challenge, Wellth takes a novel approach. Once enrolled, Wellth members receive financial incentives, nudges, and behavioral reinforcements to establish lasting, healthy habits. Using Wellth’s platform, members submit scheduled check-ins aligned with their prescribed care plans, taking a picture of their target behavior (medications placed in the palm of their hand, glucometer readings, or eating a low sodium meal) at a set time. These check-ins are immediately processed by Wellth’s AI technology for verification, and insights are relayed directly to their care teams. Wellth’s technology is complemented by compassionate Member Specialists who are equipped with training and tools to help engage and motivate members in their care. Patients don’t want assignments—they want support. Wellth’s wraparound solution provides just that.

To make these healthy behaviors stick, Wellth employs tools based on behavioral economics research to reward users for adherence. For example, Wellth’s approach utilizes loss aversion so that, rather than receive an uptick in rewards as they complete their activities, members instead see a pool of money deplete as they miss check-ins. Members can then “cash out” at milestone intervals throughout the duration of their program.

Wellth’s platform enables patients to perform virtual check-ins, such as taking a photo of their medication.

We’re encouraged by Wellth’s success in bridging the intent-to-behavior gap in care plan adherence—and even more so by their proven ability to create impactful results for members and customers alike. With its condition-agnostic, scalable platform, Wellth has worked with a wide range of customers—including health plans, risk-bearing providers, hospitals, life insurers, and biopharma and medical device companies—to drive behavior change across patients with a variety of chronic conditions.

By delivering 89%+ care plan adherence in previously nonadherent populations, Wellth can reduce complex patient costs by $1,500 to $4,500 annually per patient, thus generating a 2-6X 12-month ROI to Wellth’s customers. AdventHealth DeLand, an acute care hospital in Florida, saw its 30-day readmission rates decrease by nearly 60% with Wellth. Staten Island Performing Provider System enlisted Wellth’s help in engaging its high-risk, diabetic Medicaid patients, resulting in a 92% decrease in avoidable emergency department visits and a 1.3 reduction in HbA1c levels. Care teams and members also love using Wellth—in fact, Wellth has achieved a member NPS of 88.

Wellth will continue to work closely with its strategic investors to expand its platform to new use cases. Boehringer Ingelheim, who co-led the Series A round and is a long-time Rock Health corporate partner, is teaming up with Wellth to bring to market value-based collaborations between payers, providers, and biopharma. Together, they aim to increase medication adherence to reduce costs associated with poorly managed chronic care. Wellth is also partnering with DaVita to serve high-risk kidney disease patients on dialysis. We’re eager to back the Wellth team as they rapidly scale to address larger and broader populations of patients.

As the current pandemic accelerates trends reshaping care delivery, we need solutions like Wellth now more than ever. Wellth’s tech-enabled platform enables support for vulnerable populations at a distance when they need it most. We first met CEO Matt Loper years ago near the start of Wellth’s journey, and have been following along with their milestones in earnest ever since. Now, we’re excited to support Matt and the entire Wellth team on their mission to drastically improve care plan adherence in patients with chronic conditions. In a new era for healthcare, we believe Wellth’s platform will enable new models of patient engagement that cut costs and, most importantly, radically improve patient outcomes at scale. Welcome to the Rock Health family!

Interested in understanding how Wellth can benefit your members? Wellth can help insurers and risk-bearing healthcare providers identify the highest risk, least adherent patient populations and develop a customized program to drive long-lasting behavior change. Book a strategy session with Wellth today.

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