Cigna pharmacy benefit management arm Express Scripts recently unveiled the first group of digital therapeutics included in its digital health formulary. That group includes Propeller Health.
The point of creating the digital health formulary was to help its health plan clients find vetted digital tools to help manage their illnesses, the same way consumers can look at options for drugs to treat their conditions by looking through drug formularies. CVS Caremark launched its own digital health formulary in June.
The first set of digital therapeutics products were chosen to help its payer clients offset spending on chronic conditions. Express Scripts reviewed 70 digital health companies to work with and settled on Propeller Health, Livongo, Omada, Welldoc, SilverCloud Health, and Live to Learn.
The digital management solutions cover diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and anxiety, the most common chronic illnesses. These conditions are major drivers of the estimated $3.3 trillion the U.S. is spending on chronic disease treatment in 2019. Because payers, including insurance companies, deal with a large chunk of that spend, the ability to add digital therapeutics tools that hold promise for alleviating these conditions and their symptoms, often for a small fraction of the price of medications used to treat these conditions, is likely to be embraced by Express Scripts clients.
Express Scripts chose some of the most prominent players in the digital therapeutics space, and those companies are sure to see a big jump in enrollment thanks to the fact that the company controls nearly one-quarter of the PBM market and has a network of more than 83 million members.
This move will further solidify the selectees’ market positions: Livongo, Omada, Propeller Health, and Welldoc are among the U.S.’s top digital therapeutics providers by total amount of funding received. However, it means smaller players new to the digital therapeutics scene may be overlooked, which could harm their ability to scale their solutions.
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