“Since 2016, Cricket Health has provided advanced stage chronic kidney disease patients with technology-enabled home care through its Health Options Patient Education program.
The San Francisco-based startup uses HOPE, its online education program, to guide CKD patients through the transition to kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease. The program connects patients to a remote clinical team, trained mentors and a peer community to help inform treatment decisions and reduce hospital admissions, in an effort to keep patients in outpatient dialysis.
“By shifting the patient mix away from in-center hemodialysis, and by providing integrated care when patients are most vulnerable, we can help reduce hospital utilizations and readmissions, which are central to the healthcare industry’s shift toward value-based reimbursement,” said Arvind Rajan, co-founder and CEO of Cricket Health.
Mr. Rajan spoke with Becker’s Hospital Review about existing barriers to high-quality CKD care and how technology can intervene in the healthcare landscape.
Question: What prompted you to found Cricket Health?
Arvind Rajan: [Vince Kim, co-founder of Cricket Health] and I were looking for a hard problem to tackle in healthcare — one where, if we could help patients avoid institutional care settings, and instead remain at home, we could have the greatest impact in both patient outcomes and cost of care. That took us to CKD, which is kind of a microcosm of everything that is broken in the U.S. healthcare system.
Patients diagnosed with advanced stage CKD or ESRD are thrown into a management system with critical education and care coordination gaps. This population is often pipelined into narrow and expensive treatment options that fail to account for a patient’s lifestyle and personal values. In addition, inconsistent patient education on the part of the provider and poor health literacy on the part of the patient often lead to a delayed or incomplete plan of action and tremendous cost burdens on the healthcare system.”