CVS Health’s Theresa Juday Discusses Uptake Challenges in CBT for Insomnia

Theresa Juday, RPh, director, Specialty Product Development, CVS Health, speaks about the barriers affecting uptake of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for insomnia.

Barriers impacting payer investment and coverage of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia include long-term commitment from patients, cost-related concerns, and knowledge gaps among clinicians, said Theresa Juday, RPh, director, Specialty Product Development, CVS Health.


What unmet needs regarding the payer’s role to improve access and coverage of CBT persist?

Talking about some of those concerns and challenges, CBT has shown good clinical outcomes that are both long lasting in terms of treating chronic insomnia and have minimal side effects. However, there are some barriers that really need to be addressed in order to broaden the role for payers in terms of access and coverage to CBT.

First of all, CBT requires a long-term time commitment by a patient in actually going to in-person visits with a trained clinician. Second of all, CBT can be more costly. Again, it's a pill, a medicine, a drug cost versus ongoing, multiple times a month therapy for CBT. And then the last piece is, and I think is a big barrier, is the lack of knowledge around what CBT really is, and the clinicians that are actually trained in those techniques.

So, it makes it difficult for payers to create broad access networks for patients who are looking to use CBT as that first-line treatment when there is a lack of knowledge about what it is from many providers, and a lack of trained clinicians who can actually provide that CBT.