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The partnership provides over 25,000 Sana Benefits members with access to Miga's solution
Cardiovascular disease is one of the biggest drivers of healthcare spending in the United States: the American Heart Association reports that the cost of cardiovascular disease was over $500 billion in 2016, and is on track to exceed $1 trillion by 2035 .
"It's well-established that much of cardiovascular disease is driven by exposure to less-than-optimal weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. By improving these risk factors, there are clear benefits to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and progression of cardiovascular disease," said Jarrad Aguirre, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Miga, a virtual heart health clinic.
"As someone with a background in primary care, I’m familiar with how hard it is to access convenient, high quality expert care. Every twenty seconds someone has a heart attack or a stroke and many of these are preventable. We started Miga to overcome this unacceptable status quo — and to build the future of heart health we all deserve."
The Sana Benefits model is take solutions that are typically only available for large employers, such as telemedicine, premium support for maternity care, transparent pharmacy benefits and access to centers of excellence, and bringing those solutions to SMBs, specifically business with between five and 250 employees.
Employees that are covered by Sana get perks, which are offered by its partners, such as telehealth services, virtual mental health support, virtual health coaching, and online workouts. The idea is for employees to be healthier and happier, which therefore benefits their employer.
The partnership between Sana and Miga, which has launched in over 10 states, provides over 25,000 Sana Benefits members with access to Miga’s heart health program for obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. Sana has a network of $0 Care Partners, which are made available to their members with no cost sharing.
"This partnership with Sana builds on our growth and momentum from our launch with Medicare in seven states earlier this year and serves as an example for why comprehensive heart health and improved outcomes is a shared goal with payors," Aguirre explained.
"It also validates our conviction that Miga’s growth will come through multiple channels, including payor partnerships and physician referrals."
Through this partnership, Miga provides Sana Benefits members with access to clinical services which are delivered by a multidisciplinary care team that includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered dietitians.
"Our vision is to build the future of heart health and we have embarked on what will be a multi-decade journey, with an initial focus on preventing the next million heart attacks and strokes — a level of ambition commensurate to the magnitude of the problem," said Aguirre.
In addition to Sana Benefits, Miga is available through Medicare in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas, representing over 10 million eligible patients. Miga will continue to expand its availability through employer-sponsored insurance, which is the largest source of health benefits in the United States, as well as Medicare Advantage.
How Miga works
Each Miga patient completes a heart health evaluation, including labs, and receives a personalized plan that includes data monitoring, lifestyle interventions, and, when appropriate, medications.
Members access their plans through the Miga app, which includes integrated scales and blood pressure monitors, in addition to a daily plan with the highest-yield actions for their heart health, such as medication adherence and physical activity. Members continue to partner with their care team over time, as they improve their weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, all risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease.
"Cardiovascular disease doesn’t only impact people in their 60s and older. It is increasingly common for people much younger to have their first heart attack and stroke," said Aguirre.
"Most patients we serve are overweight or obese in addition to at least one other condition like hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia. They are motivated by the desire to live longer, healthier lives and often feel like traditional healthcare is not providing the accountability and the support to make progress on their goals."
The company's ultimate goal is to prevent the next million heart attacks and strokes, he explained, which will happen is through improved heart health outcomes. Through this partnership, the goal is to engage and work with more people to actively manage their heart health and offer them convenient, high quality access to care and prevent disease.
"When thinking about heart health and how to make it better, we are focused on the outcomes. If I started with a blank sheet of paper, I would design a comprehensive solution, not limiting care or attention to a single condition nor excluding other pieces of heart health. Looking across the ecosystem of virtual care, there is still a need for a holistic program offering clinical and lifestyle care," said Aguirre.
"What we’re building at Miga is comprehensive and inclusive of the conditions and services that are required to get the best outcomes for heart health. We have physicians on staff, alongside a multidisciplinary care team that parstner with people and their primary care doctor, should they have one, to develop a personalized plan, review labs and data and maintain their action plans."
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