Maria Kirsch, Senior VP, Head of Patient Services, EVERSANA
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Delivering value in the era of empowered patients renders the one-size-fits-all patient services program obsolete. Not every treatment journey is consistently linear within a disease state because patients take different paths to medication adherence. For example, one patient may be compliant when prompted by a smartphone notification, while another patient relies on a caregiver for his or her daily reminder.
There are three main issues with current adherence programs:
Patients have fundamentally different adherence issues.
Patient issues change over time.
Metrics ignore patient subgroups.
Patients demand more personalized services, yet current offers fail to meet their expectations (set by standards from other industries). Just as music and TV streaming services have become hyper-personalized, we envision customized patient experiences to improve health outcomes.
Patient Insights Inform New Model for Support Services
Earlier this year, EVERSANA elevated its next-generation patient services with predictive analytics that inform “the next best action” along the patient journey. By identifying where the patient is in the treatment journey, we predict probability of nonadherence, provide effective corrective actions and measure the size of the potential impact. Figure 1 showcases how the EVERSANA team uses predefined personas to determine whether a patient prescribed an anticoagulant will continue therapy, switch or discontinue.
In his recently published white paper, “A Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning Approach to Improving Hub Performance and Patient Outcomes,” my colleague Brigham Hyde, Ph.D., President of Data and Analytics, describes in further detail how the results of our model generated a 98% accuracy rate in our ability to describe the types of patients and the personas. By showcasing how the actions at each step in the patient analytics platform process added value to the model, we demonstrated a successful process for improving patient adherence by >50%.
Another important factor in the EVERSANA model is our one-on-one relationship with the patient and the multitude of channels we can engage them with. Whether it’s technology based through an app or a text message or a dedicated Patient Services Coordinator they connect with in person, phone or video chat, the EVERSANA care team is continuously trained to ensure patient empathy and coordinate additional therapies as needed throughout the treatment process.
“We’re not worried about just the shipment and the time and the delivery date,” shares Victoria Butler, Director of Clinical Care Delivery. “That’s incredibly important, but we also care about where the patients are in their disease journey and what they’re facing. Building relationships and helping to overcome barriers empowers patients and enhances their success with medication therapy.”
The approach also helps manufacturers understand potential issues with the therapy itself that could be impacting adherence. For example, patients might share that taking a drug in many small doses is challenging and that they would stay more adherent if they could take the drug in fewer, larger doses. Manufacturers also cite fewer adverse event challenges, thanks in large part to proactive patient outreach based on research-cited concerns in the therapeutic journey.
Continuity of Rare Care
Patients need assistance not only with adherence challenges but with managing required lifestyle, nutritional or physical modifications that are necessary for patient compliance — behaviors that are difficult to influence, track or control. Oftentimes patients do not know how to make long-lasting changes to their everyday life that would best benefit their therapy.
EVERSANA recently partnered with Noom, the world’s leading behavior change company, to increase medication adherence and improve health outcomes for the millions of patients suffering from rare diseases. Noom’s program is based on cognitive behavior therapy that leverages human coaches and artificial intelligence.
The partnership combines EVERSANA’s fully integrated patient services model with Noom’s digital therapeutic platform to give patients the personalized support they need to create life-changing habits and generate positive outcomes.
“Despite a long road to diagnosis, adherence to therapy falls to 50% – 80% for patients with complex diseases who routinely deal with difficulties handling side effects, navigating lifestyle changes and finding the education and resources needed to understand their disease and care,” says Jim Lang, CEO, EVERSANA. “By integrating Noom’s proven behavioral health technology with EVERSANA’s best-in-class patient service programs, we will help manufacturers give their patients the personalized support they have long needed and deserved.”
The Economics of Patient Understanding
As stated in Evaluate Pharma’s 2019 Orphan Drug Report, “by 2024, orphan drugs are expected to reach $242 billion and capture one-fifth of worldwide prescription sales.” Increasing reputational and payer pressures will require the industry to create more value through better outcomes. Improving adherence, through precision patient support via behavioral technology, will lower costs while helping manufacturers recoup their investment after years of research and development — all to the ultimate goal of better rare disease patient care.
At EVERSANA, we believe manufacturers can achieve greater adherence by advancing beyond the traditional model to building a program that focuses on the unique needs of each patient. Our new adherence solution yields a best-in-class experience brought forward by one-on-one interactions, timely communication and resolution of access and affordability, and at-home product delivery and nursing care. This one ecosystem of integrated services not only keeps patients informed but generates positive outcomes to demonstrate therapeutic success.(PV)
EVERSANA is the leading independent provider of global services to the life science industry. The company’s integrated solutions are rooted in the patient experience and span all stages of the product life cycle to deliver long-term, sustainable value for patients, prescribers, channel partners and payers. The company serves more than 500 organizations, including innovative start-ups and established pharmaceutical companies, to advance life science solutions for a healthier world.
For more information, visit EVERSANA.COM.