News Release

Blue Shield of California and Cricket Health Collaborate to Transform Kidney Care for Members

Personalized, virtual, multidisciplinary care available for members with kidney disease or kidney failure at no extra cost

OAKLAND, Calif. (August 6, 2020) — Blue Shield of California and Cricket Health today announced a new innovative, personalized and comprehensive care coordination program for members who have late-stage chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease at no additional cost to them.

Through the long-term collaboration, Cricket Health will offer a multidisciplinary care team that includes nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dietitians and trained patient mentors to provide an evidence-based approach to help patients better manage chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease.

The team, available online and by phone, works closely with the participating member’s medical providers including primary care physicians, nephrologists and other specialists to ensure that, as much as possible, the patient remains healthy, at home, and out of the hospital. The program is especially relevant in today’s Covid-19 environment, and is available to members enrolled in Blue Shield’s fully insured Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) benefit plans.

“We recognize that for too long, the healthcare system in the U.S. has fallen short of providing patients who suffer from kidney disease – an estimated 37 million Americans – with the highest quality health care at an affordable cost,” said Seth Glickman, M.D., chief health officer, Blue Shield of California. ”By working with Cricket Health, we can reimagine kidney care and expand health care options for members with late-stage chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease so they can live the healthiest lives possible.”

Blue Shield’s claims data and Cricket’s advanced data analytics capabilities are used to identify members with or at risk for chronic kidney disease, and Cricket invites them to participate in the program. Once enrolled, Cricket Health will deploy a multidisciplinary care team and virtual programs with the goal of slowing progression of the disease, reducing health complications, and avoiding emergency room visits or hospitalizations.

By intervening well before kidney failure, Cricket Health can deliver an evidence-based, personalized kidney care plan for each patient that improves health outcomes. For members whose kidney disease does progress, Cricket Health will help them understand their treatment options — such as in-center dialysis or transplant — and empower them to make their preferred choice.

“This collaboration will fundamentally change what a kidney disease diagnosis means for patients, putting them in control of their kidney-care journey,” said Arvind Rajan, CEO, Cricket Health. “Our comprehensive approach to chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease care focuses on preventive care, slowing progression of the disease, and when needed, getting the treatment that’s right for them. Together with Blue Shield, we will support their members with a multidisciplinary care team that reaches patients in the safety and comfort of their homes.”

This offering comes at a critical time, as those living with chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease have an elevated risk of complications from Covid-19. By offering remote care, via phone or virtually online, Cricket Health’s approach to kidney care is designed to keep Blue Shield members living with kidney disease healthy at home, and out of clinics or hospitals whenever possible.

This innovative kidney care is the latest example of Blue Shield of California’s Health Reimagined initiative to transform the healthcare system for individuals, families and communities, and also address health inequities often found among minority communities. Kidney disease impacts communities of color disproportionately and Blue Shield’s collaboration with Cricket Health seeks to expand access to quality kidney care.