Integrated care is mentioned in many of our blogs and a focus for multiple Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech partners. Addressing both physical and mental health conditions can be very beneficial to members if all of the providers are talking to each other. Communication is much more efficient when the providers are all in one app and one care team. Vida Health’s app not only provides this, but it has just launched a new prescription service. Vida Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Carroll, tells us more about the development of this service and what members can expect.
Yeah, thanks for having us Solome. We launched our prescribing capabilities this month and look forward to tracking the early results. Prescribing was something we had been considering adding to our capabilities for a long time, but we knew we wanted to be thoughtful about the offering and do it in-house, so we began building the process, clinical rigor, and team at the beginning of the year.
As a physician, over the years, I've seen that some patients do well with behavior change only, and others benefit from also using medications and related devices. At Vida, we know that treatment doesn't stop with a prescription — that’s why we always pair prescriptions with therapy or coaching. That human connection helps us make sure members have the resources and relationships they need to truly be successful. The addition of our prescribing capabilities will better support our members by enhancing the care interventions Vida providers can use to help members with higher-severity conditions see greater health improvements. Not only will it help our members see greater outcomes, it’ll help our business customers achieve greater value while offering their population access to broader levels of care.
Both physical and mental healthcare with Vida is always human-led – each member has a primary provider they can stay with for their entire program. That human connection, combined with our robust technology, allow Vida to deliver truly personalized care plans that put our members at the center of everything. As with all Vida services, our prescribing program follows a holistic, individualized approach — with some members starting new medications or receiving new devices, some focusing on adherence, and others reducing or removing medications and devices.
For example, a patient of ours who’s on existing diabetes meds and who has undiagnosed depression can come down on their insulin dose as the member works with us to improve their mental health, loses weight, and lowers their A1c. Now that they have one Vida care team with medical prescribing services, all that care can be done in one place, and the providers can talk to each other to create a personalized care plan.
One unique thing about Vida’s platform is that all of our mental health providers, like therapists and mental health coaches, are on the same platform as our physical health providers, like dietitians and certified diabetes educators. Instead of getting medications from one clinic and therapy or coaching at another, our members can receive required chronic care in the same place — using one app and one care team. That single environment for both physical and mental health lets us deliver the right level of care and helps the providers engage with each other and coordinate care effectively. That personalization also leads to better engagement and better outcomes, creating an improved experience for members and ultimately greater value for clients. Now, with the addition of prescribers to our clinical team, we’re able to offer truly integrated care where prescribers can work in tandem with our therapists and coaches.
Going back to how combined physical and mental care that’s coordinated in one platform can lead to better outcomes — we actually just had a new peer-reviewed research paper published that shows 3x greater weight loss among those who also reduced their depression compared to those who focused on weight loss alone. And then switching that around, patients who experienced improvements in their depression showed consistently better weight loss outcomes than those whose depression didn’t improve.