Patients demonstrated improved CKD knowledge, interest in home treatment, and increased rate of outpatient dialysis starts
SAN FRANCISCO (March 10, 2020) — Cricket Health, a comprehensive kidney care provider and care extender, today announced the results of a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). The study, conducted by Samaritan Health Services, found that Cricket’s virtual care program can improve patient knowledge about chronic kidney disease (CKD), increase interest in home dialysis, and may increase the proportion of dialysis starts in the outpatient setting. Cricket’s virtual program is one pillar of its evidence-based, personalized approach to kidney care that includes a multidisciplinary team to deliver and manage care in clinics, at-home, and remotely.
“In this study, Samaritan researchers found that our virtual program can effectively educate patients on their condition, help them understand their treatment options, and, in some cases, help them avoid starting dialysis in the hospital,” said Cricket Health’s Chief Medical Officer and study co-author Dr. Carmen Peralta. “That’s exactly what’s needed to change the status quo in kidney care. People live with chronic kidney disease every day, not just when they’re visiting a doctor’s office. Better engaging patients through digital tools will help them manage their condition beyond the four walls of a clinic.”
Each patient in Cricket’s virtual multidisciplinary program benefits from online education materials and a virtual multidisciplinary team including a nurse, pharmacist, social worker, dietician, and patient mentors. These resources work in unison with nephrologists and primary care providers to engage patients throughout the full spectrum of care to better manage their condition.
Among program participants, 80 percent of those who started dialysis did so in an outpatient setting after both the pre-specified nine month and extended follow-ups, compared with just 20 percent and 22 percent of the control group after each respectively. Additionally, participants who completed the program demonstrated greater knowledge about the disease and were more likely to choose a home modality as their first dialysis choice. Participants answered an average of 94 percent of questions correctly on a kidney disease survey and two-thirds (68 percent) chose a home modality as their first choice, compared with only 52 percent answered correctly and 36 percent home choice among the control group.
CKD and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are incredibly costly and prevalent in the United States, with over 35 million Americans living with CKD and nearly 750,000 living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Cricket offers an evidence-based, comprehensive approach to treating and managing kidney disease designed to help those with CKD and ESRD live their best possible lives. As part of this, Cricket’s approach focuses on helping reduce the serious personal and financial burdens of ESRD treatment by: educating patients on their treatment options, including home modalities and transplants; managing the transition to ESRD care; and ensuring patients start dialysis with a permanent access in an outpatient setting.
The JMIR study follows the announcement of Cricket’s proprietary machine learning model to accurately risk-stratify a patient population for CKD. Cricket uses this model to help health plans and at-risk providers identify their members most at-risk, then confirm their CKD status via lab, and deploy Cricket’s comprehensive kidney care approach to improve outcomes, lower costs, and transform the kidney care experience.
“Our current kidney care system too often takes a one-size-fits-all approach, but we’re working to change that,” said Cricket Health CEO Arvind Rajan. “Cricket’s virtual program is part of our patient-centered, personalized approach that empowers patients to make informed decisions and remain engaged throughout their care journey with a team that is accessible online, at-home, or at their local clinic.”
Samaritan Health Services conducted the study using a matched prospective cohort. The study enrolled adults aged 18 to 85 years with at least two estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs) of less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 into the Cricket Health program and compared them with controls receiving care at the same clinic, matched on age, gender, eGFR, and presence of heart failure and diabetes. CKD knowledge and dialysis modality choice were evaluated in a pre-post survey among intervention participants.