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Reimagining Kidney Care: A Case Study with Blue Shield of California

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More, better kidney care in just one year of the collaboration
Blue Shield of California (October 21, 2021)

 

Outcomes Matter

At Cricket Health, we believe that through a more personalized, supported kidney care journey, we will be able to lower overall kidney care costs, improve health outcomes, and enable people to live their best lives with kidney disease. As we continue to deploy our StageSmart™ disease identification model and MyCricket™ patient support program with Medicare Advantage plans, commercial health plans, and nephrology practices, we are closely monitoring our clinical and patient satisfaction outcomes because our success is ultimately measured by the health and happiness of the people we serve. 

We are proud today that Blue Shield of California released results from the first year of our collaboration to provide personalized, comprehensive care for Blue Shield members with late-stage chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease. 


A Look at the Numbers

The engagement between Blue Shield members and the Cricket Health team is yielding positive results in key clinical measures for kidney disease:

  • Reductions in hospitalizations: Preliminary data shows a 63% reduction in unnecessary hospitalizations among enrolled patients. This means that members were kept safe at home during the pandemic, and didn’t contribute to the already low hospital capacity due to COVID-19 cases. Additionally, hospital visits drive up the cost of health care, so keeping people healthy at home dramatically reduces overall costs to the system.
  • Alternative dialysis choice: Allowing members choice in how they want care delivered – especially with chronic illness – is paramount. With the benefit of educational resources, 90% of Blue Shield of California members enrolled with Cricket Health made a choice other than in-center dialysis for ESKD treatment.
  • Outpatient data on starts: According to preliminary results, 83% of Blue Shield of California members who started dialysis began this treatment outside of the hospital setting. Patients who participate in the Cricket Health program are four times more likely to start dialysis at home and two times more likely to start dialysis in an outpatient setting than the status quo. These early results show that a better-educated patient is empowered to make more informed modality decisions, resulting in greater utilization of home dialysis, which has been shown to have better clinical outcomes than in-center.

 

 

Patient Satisfaction

We were also pleased to see that Blue Shield members are highly satisfied with the program, with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 53. The NPS indicates the level to which a current member would recommend Cricket Health to a family member or friend. NPS scores range from -100 to 100, with anything above 50 considered excellent.

Members are also highly engaged, interacting with their care teams every two or three days. Compared to the status quo of seeing a specialist for 15 minutes a few times a year, this represents a significantly increased support opportunity. 

One of our members described his experience:  

“Cricket Health was an absolute turnaround for me,” said Rick, a Blue Shield of California member. “I’m pretty informed as a patient. But there was a time when I was very uninformed and somewhat cavalier about all this stuff and thought I had all the time in the world to deal with it. The important takeaway for anyone who has kidney problems —  or any other chronic problem —  should be if you’re only seeing your specialists every few months, you need to find other resources. In the case of kidney disease, Cricket Health has modeled the way to help patients. And I really appreciate that. Do it now. Don’t wait.”


More on the Collaboration 

The program is available at no cost to Blue Shield members enrolled in Blue Shield’s fully insured Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) benefit plans. The collaboration provides members with a multidisciplinary care team that includes nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dietitians, and trained patient mentors providing stage-specific, individualized care.

Ultimately, we set out to fundamentally change what a kidney disease diagnosis means for Blue Shield of California members with this collaboration. We’re proud of how far we’ve come, and we are excited to continue making progress for members.  

See the full Blue Shield of California case study here. 

 


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