The impact of COVID-19 has continued to accelerate health care innovation and reshape the industry in 2021. With the first month of the New Year behind us, we continue to keep a close eye on key trends which are expected to influence the health care landscape in 2022 and beyond. Let’s take a look at a few:
The Next Evolution of Behavioral Health
The pandemic has negatively impacted the behavioral health of almost half of the US, leading to rapid adoption of telehealth, as well as the next progression of behavioral health care that emphasizes a more holistic and individualized approach to care.
As an integrated carrier, we know better than anyone that mental health conditions can worsen our physical health. In fact, the World Health Organization has identified depression as the leading cause of poor health and disability worldwide. These conditions also cause more days of lost work and work impairment than many other common chronic conditions, including diabetes, asthma and arthritis.
We are proud to offer our customers solutions like Talkspace, which expands our virtual provider network by connecting customers enrolled in employer-sponsored behavioral health plans to talk and text with licensed therapists. These therapists are available on-demand via private messaging (text, voice, video) or live video session.*
And with Cigna inMynd, we connect pharmacy customer engagements with data and clinical care teams, and then guide at-risk customers and their families to health education, resources and counseling support. This can increase customer engagement and help improve their health outcomes, while also reducing costs.
Shifting the Site of Care
Many patients and providers are now more comfortable using virtual modalities to deliver some types of care, which has given rise to omni-channel strategies among health care retailers as well significant investment in home health from top competitors.
As the pandemic has kept many people home, we are highly focused on reimagining how our customers access their care. Our expanded suite of Cigna Virtual Care options include medical, behavioral, and wellness/primary support.** Virtual services take place between Cigna’s network providers and MDLIVE, which has access to board-certified doctors, pediatricians and licensed therapists. Consultations occur via online video, phone or mobile app. Interactive video lessons for stress management are also available through iPrevail, a digital therapeutics health engagement platform.***
And of course, we offer home delivery for maintenance medications through the Express Scripts Pharmacy, which helps drive higher adherence, and lower costs.
Avenues for Affordability
Specialty drugs remain a top area of concern, and rapid pharmacy innovation will continue to put pressure on controlling pharmacy spend.
To manage Specialty trend, we already prioritize high-value medications and the adoption of biosimilars when possible, and optimize coverage decisions across benefits. We also manage the site of administration for costly infusions through Cigna's Specialty Care Options (SCO) team, which reviews the site of care at the time of prior authorization to coordinate treatment in the right location. If the customer requires an oncology treatment, we engage our new Cigna Specialty Care Options Plus (SCO Plus) team to determine site of care.
But there’s more to be done – which is why we will launch a new set of specialty solutions later this year. This program will build upon our existing capabilities, with a new network and white glove concierge approach. We will share more details throughout 2022.
Cigna will continue to monitor evolving industry and consumer trends. We can evolve our approach to support and cost savings in response. No matter how a connection takes place, our goal remains to meet customers where they are and make sure they have the resources they need to help reach their best health.
* Talkspace also offers targeted mental health support and programs in certain states where therapists are licensed. Availability is limited and based on other product selections.
** Cigna provides access to virtual care through participating in-network providers. Not all providers have virtual capabilities. Cigna also provides access to virtual care through national telehealth providers as part of your plan. This service is separate from your health plan's network and may not be available in all areas.
*** Program services are provided by independent companies/entities and not by Cigna. Programs and services are subject to all applicable program terms and conditions. Program availability is subject to change. Availability is limited and based on other product selections.
Product availability may vary by location and plan type and is subject to change. All group health insurance policies and health benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For costs and details of coverage, review your plan documents or contact a Cigna representative.
All Cigna products and service are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, (CHLIC), Evernorth Care Solutions, Inc., Evernorth Behavioral Health, Inc., Cigna Health Management, Inc., Evernorth, Accredo Health Group, Inc., Express Scripts, Inc., ESI Mail Pharmacy Service, Inc., Express Scripts Pharmacy, Inc., Tel-Drug, Inc., Tel-Drug of Pennsylvania, L.L.C., Lynnfield Drug, Inc., and HMO or service company subsidiaries of Cigna Health Corporation. Policy forms: OK - HP-APP-1 et al., OR - HP-POL38 02-13, TN - HP-POL43/HC-CER1V1 et al. (CHLIC). The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are trademarks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. "Express Scripts" is a trademark of Express Scripts Strategic Development, Inc. This newsletter is not intended for residents of New Mexico.
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