Chronic disease management startup Omada Health landed a major coverage agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Minnesota that will make the company’s digital tools for type 2 diabetes available to BCBS’ 2 million members, according to MedCity News.
The program will roll out to self-insured customers of BCBS Minnesota (typically small- to mid-size employers), with plans to bring the tech to BCBS’ fully-insured customers (generally large-scale businesses) down the line, per statements from Omada CEO Sean Duffy cited by MedCity.
Omada delivers significant savings for payers and improved health outcomes for users thanks to its blend of innovative tech solutions and personalized health coaching. When individuals start up with an Omada program, they’re provided with several free, connected medical devices dependent on their condition, such as a wireless scale, a glucometer, and a smart blood pressure cuff.
Data from these devices, as well as information related to activity and diet, are then shared with one of Omada’s personal health coaches, who help set individual goals for the user to drive positive health changes. This comprehensive approach to disease management has helped Omada deliver remarkable improvements in patient health, with reductions in body weight and blood glucose levels that are maintained over the course of two years.
Healthier patients drive down costs as well: Omada claims it can slash healthcare spending by $435 per participant per year, as evidenced by a 2,000-person study conducted in collaboration with Cigna in 2018. We could see more payers and employers flock to Omada in search of savings, as diabetes costs the US $237 billion per year.
But Omada isn’t the only company looking to stake its claim in the booming diabetes management market — rivals like Livongo and One Drop will no doubt keep the space competitive:
- Recently public Livongo is already posting triple-digit year-over-year (YoY) growth in membership and revenue. In Q3 2019, the California-based chronic disease management platform saw revenue soar to $47 million, up 148% YoY, which can be attributed to the company’s 118% membership boom that pushed total enrollment over 207,000. And this is all before the company’s two-year contract with the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program kicks in, which will make Livongo’s services available to 5 million federal employees and their families beginning next year.
- Meanwhile, New York-based One Drop is taking a consumer retail approach to generate data critical for improving its 8-hour predictive glucose service. One Drop recently brought its connected blood glucose monitors to hundreds of Walmart locations across the US, expanding on a physical retail play that first began back in June when the company announced its products would be for sale in Apple Stores. When we caught up with One Drop CEO Jeff Dachis, he said this consumer-centric approach has helped the company gather data from nearly 2 million users — significantly more than the “couple hundred thousand” he estimates Livongo and Omada have — that are critical for fueling the company’s predictive glucose forecasts, which have become a key selling feature of One Drop devices.
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