Technological innovation continues to change a variety of industries and the health care sector is no different. In an effort to simplify the integration and use of various personal health technologies and interventions, Express Scripts, announced its intention to launch the first stand-alone digital health formulary.
“We are in an exciting age when technology is giving people even greater control of their own health and well-being. However, much of this technology is still emerging, and there are many digital health solutions that require clinical review and validation,” said Mark Bini, vice president, innovation and member experience, Express Scripts, in a press release. “We see a need to put mechanisms in place to help carefully manage these innovations, and are proud to lead again by being the first health services organization to establish a formulary of this nature. This formulary will help ensure developers do right by payers and consumers, while increasing patient access to technology that can help improve their health.”
Expected to be available in 2020, Express Scripts digital formulary will comprise “a curated list of technology- and software-enabled applications and devices that help patients prevent, manage, or treat a medical condition,” according to the press release.
Overseen by physicians, pharmacists, and experts in health research and user experience, the digital formulary will mirror a traditional medication formulary. All technologies included will be required to establish competency in therapeutic value, effective usability, security, and remain cost-effective. The formulary will also:
- Reduce the administrative burden for plan sponsors associated with contracting and managing digital health companies;
- Help improve affordability by leveraging Express Scripts’ size and scale in the purchasing of digital health products; and
- Create a pathway to cover the increasing number of prescription-only digital therapeutics that are coming to market.
In its first stages, Express Scripts explained that the formulary will focus on solutions for diabetes, cardiovascular, behavioral health, and pulmonary conditions.
“Clients still will have the ability to choose which digital solutions they provide or cover for their members; inclusion on the digital health formulary will not guarantee that a plan will cover a certain technology,” said Express Scripts via a press release.—Edan Stanley