A New Generation of Benefits: Chronic Illness

Technology may help manage and treat long-term diseases.
By Katie King Posted on February 19, 2020

Ninety percent of U.S. healthcare spend goes toward people with mental health issues and other chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. That number does not factor in lost economic productivity, which when included brings the total cost to around 20% of GDP.

The chronic nature of these diseases interferes with every aspect of life, including work. On top of that, a person’s risk of having more than one chronic condition increases with age. A projected 81 million Americans will have multiple co-morbidities in 2020. To address these issues, technology solutions have cropped up to both target symptoms and prevent the onset of these types of illnesses.

We once again collaborated with Dave Kerrigan of BenefitPitch in part two of a four-part series to highlight some unique strategies, including population health management tools to treat and prevent chronic disease. These solutions are designed to impact employee health, which directly connects to employer spend. The list of solutions—of which we are providing just a flavor—focuses on companies selling their products and services through the broker channel.

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Autoimmune Health

Therapeutic interventions to address when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body

Joint Academy
Digitally connects employees who have arthritis-related hip and knee conditions to physical therapists and offers synchronous as well as asynchronous coaching, peer support, and custom exercise programs.

Digital therapeutics program that analyzes the body’s signals to find hidden patterns in order to address and treat the symptoms of chronic autoimmune diseases through the help of a personal coach.

Integrated platform that tracks symptoms contributing to inflammatory bowel disease, houses FAQs and educational resources, and provides access to gastroenterologists and health professionals.

Vivante Health
Care management platform featuring psychometric, clinical, nutritional and educational elements aimed at reducing symptoms and improving medication adherence related to chronic gut issues.


Managing increased levels of sugar in the bloodstream

Pops Diabetes Care
A subscription-based virtual care platform for individuals and caregivers to measure blood glucose through a wireless connection and provide digital coaching.

Its Type 2 diabetes medical device, BlueStar, helps to clinically reduce A1C levels and capture data to support providers and care teams in creating value-based care arrangements and curbing costs.

Its value-based programs help patients get off diabetes medication, including insulin, using a combination of personalized nutrition therapy and 24/7 access to care providers.

General Disease Management

Preventing and treating multiple chronic illnesses at once

Performance-based billing model built with AI-enabled health data monitoring and coaching capabilities to glean insights and treat symptoms related to hypertension, medication adherence, stress, prediabetes, diabetes and obesity.

Omada Health
Digital care platform convening peer groups, deploying customized lessons and coaching, and tracking progress for users with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and behavioral health issues.

Platform using claims and clinical data to engage patients and caregivers to take action to treat and manage diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, high cholesterol, obesity and musculoskeletal pain when it’s most likely to have a clinical impact.

Interoperable platform enabling users to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, COPD and behavioral health conditions through personalized coaching plans as well as access to nurses and licensed therapists offering on-demand support and accountability.


Addressing weight-based health challenges

This outcomes-based network creator collaborates with plans and physicians groups using EMR and/or claims data to match members with vetted programs to help them lower their risk of obesity and other related chronic conditions.

Twenty Lighter
This clinically validated short-term weight loss program addresses the physiological causes of weight gain and focuses on the reduction of visceral fat, which contributes to heart disease.

Katie King Vice President, Health Policy & Strategy, The Council Read More

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