Dr Sebastian Schneeweiss: How Payers Can Benefit From Rapid-Cycle Analytics of Real-World Evidence

Using rapid-cycle analytics of real-world evidence, we can get patients on the most appropriate medications and also implement medication adherence interventions, explained Sebastian Schneeweiss, MD, ScD, professor of medicine and epidemiology, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, and co-founder of Aetion.

One high-risk, high-cost patients are identified by rapid-cycle analytics of real-world evidence, how can this information be used by payers?
So, once we have identified those target patients, we can, working closely with payer organizations, produce lists of these patients. These are scrambled ID numbers; we don’t know the names as the analytics platform, but the payer very much knows the names and can now send out specialists in order to talk to the patients or talk to the providers and say, “You’re on this and that medication. Maybe it is better or maybe you should consider using this or that medication.”

Other interventions are adherence interventions trying to improve adherence. A chronic issue in this country and many other industrialized countries, the patients are not staying on the medications that were prescribed and there are several tools for how we can improve that.

How can rapid cycle analytics of real-world evidence improve patient care and lower costs?
If you truly have a medication that improves health outcomes, what we still see in many situations is that the uptake of that medication is low. This is sometimes because of formulary decision making and this is sometimes because physicians stay with what they’re used to and they don’t want to use newer medications. Some of these new medications are truly efficacious and large randomized trials have shown 20% reductions in hospitalizations, for example.

Nevertheless, they’re not picked up at the pace you would think. Giving health plans the confidence that yes, in their own populations with their own analytics, they can see the benefits, has turned out to be a very powerful tool to change the perception of health plans managers and turning these target populations that will be of high benefit for these medications into more adherent patients into patients using the most efficacious medication.
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