Walgreens and Pearl Health come together to advance value-based care

Steven Loeb · September 12, 2023 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/56ff

The partnership will put more tools and resources into the hands of primary care physicians

Pearl Health is a company focused on physician enablement and risk bearing in value-based care programs, which give clinicians incentive payments for the quality of care they provide, rather than just for performing a service.

These types of programs are particularly popular among Medicare plans but they're also becoming increasingly popular in for-profit plans as well and the key to fully making this change is to give primary care providers need tools and services that allow them to engage their highest-risk patients and deliver better coordinated care.

On Tuesday, Pearl announced a partnership with Walgreens that will help advance value-based care.

From the earliest conversations with the Walgreens team, it became clear that the two companies were aligned in their vision, Michael Kopko, co-founder and CEO of Pearl Health, told VatorNews.

"Pearl’s value-based care model aligns seamlessly with the healthcare services Walgreens offers, particularly in the most vulnerable communities. Our technology surfaces insights that help primary care providers identify patients who may need their attention," he said.

"But beyond identifying the patients who may be slipping through the cracks, PCPs are also looking for more ways to reach and engage those patients: Walgreens’ proximity to patients across the country helps providers to make care as accessible, convenient, and affordable as possible."

Founded in 2020, Story Health works with health systems so that clinicians can introduce Story Health to their patients, either during a visit or virtually between visits. The clinician explains how it works, and the fact that it allows them to optimize their care between clinic visits, after which the patient goes home with a welcome kit including medication organization tools, remote monitoring devices, and a connection to their care team via SMS on their phone.

The company's health coaching team schedules an initial phone call with the patient to walk them through the process and then the patient starts their care plan. They're guided through escalating therapies, taking readings at home, and getting lab work done.

Now, with this partnership with Walgreens, primary care providers will have access to resources that can help them engage their patients more proactively and increase their access to high-quality healthcare services, locally, in their communities.

"Primary care providers across the country have partnered with Pearl to help them deliver quality care more efficiently. So many doctors have told us that they could deliver better, more proactive care if they only had better visibility into what was happening with their patients across the healthcare system," Kopko explained.

It's also impactful for patients in underserved communities, who may not have access to resources such as convenient transportation, he said.

"From a patient perspective, having convenient, affordable access to healthcare services can shift their interactions with the healthcare system toward more holistic and preventative care rather than only going to the doctor or hospital when they are already sick or have a medical emergency."

For Pearl, meanwhile, partnering with Walgreens is seen as a validation of its platform and the work it has done to advance value-based care.

"We’ve built our technology to make it easier for them to understand when one of their patients may be in need, and we’re continuing to evolve our product and services over time based on feedback from providers. When providers tell us that our technology has helped them to deliver better outcomes for their patients, that’s what’s really validating," Kopko said.

"With that in mind, we feel extremely fortunate to have such dedicated partners at Walgreens. We’re both humbled by the caliber of their team, inspired by the investments they are making in promoting access to high-quality value-based healthcare, and excited for what we are going to build together." 

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