By: Fred Pennic
Posted on: December 7, 2020
Category: Practice Updates , FOAMed , GU
Highmark Taps Lark Health for AI-Driven Chronic Disease Management/Prevention
What You Should Know:
– Highmark, one of the largest Blues plans, has chosen Lark Health for its chronic disease prevention and management platform.
– Members will have access to Lark’s 24/7 AI-based coaching and programs to manage diabetes, hypertension, and prevent chronic conditions.
Highmark Inc., America’s fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, announced a growing collaboration with Lark Health, virtual chronic disease prevention and management platform giving select Highmark members access to Lark’s 24/7 health coaching to prevent and manage conditions like hypertension and diabetes and to stay healthy through weight management and stress reduction programs.
Costly Impact of Chronic Diseases
Chronic conditions are widespread and costly, and Lark’s programs are aimed at providing personalized health coaching to address them at scale. Six in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic disease, while 4 in 10 have two or more. Diabetes affects an estimated 30 million Americans, and is a risk factor for complications such as neuropathy, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. Diabetes costs the nation an estimated $327 billion annually in direct medical costs and indirect costs, such as lost productivity. Nearly 1 in 3 adults have hypertension, which is an underlying cause of over 1,000 deaths each day in the U.S. Hypertension costs the country over $48 billion each year. Nearly 2 out of 3 individuals with diabetes also have hypertension.
Expansion of 2-Year Collaboration
Highmark’s vision is to deliver tech-enabled and consumer-friendly solutions that meet members where they are and allow them to more easily manage their health with highly personalized coaching. Since beginning the two-year collaboration, member enrollment in Lark has been increasing year-over-year.
Highmark’s employer group customers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia, as well as commercial National group customers, are able to access Lark’s unlimited 24/7 personal counseling in real-time through an easy-to-use, text message-like modality.
Lark and Highmark have worked together throughout the collaboration to identify and reach out to individuals at risk of developing chronic conditions, increasing awareness of the virtual care offerings through social media advertising, direct mail, email, and text campaigns.
Virtual Care Platform that Addresses Health Plans’ Costliest Challenges
Powered by conversational AI, the platform seamlessly addresses the whole person, with counseling for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, smoking cessation, stress, anxiety, and weight management, and it incorporates smart connected devices, like scales, that sync with the program to help remotely monitor conditions. When an emergent situation or complex question arises, Lark escalates the concern to a live interaction telephonically or provides a recommended next step.
“Preventing and managing chronic conditions is time-consuming, costly, and inconvenient. We need solutions that are scalable and meet people where they are, especially for individuals who might have comorbid conditions,” said Lark CEO and co-founder Julia Hu. “We are thrilled that Highmark members are choosing and embracing Lark to help them stay healthy, and we look forward to continuing our work with Highmark to offer engaging health coaching to more people.”
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