Anthem targets women’s digital health with Happify Health partnership
Photo: Jose Luis Palaez Inc/Getty Images
Health insurer Anthem, which will switch its branding to Elevance Health on June 28, has partnered with Happify Health to digitally address the physical and mental health of women.
Anthem framed the move as a means of supporting women through their maternal health journey through solutions such as ongoing education, case management and care coordination. Happify Health provides digital therapeutics and care solutions at scale for the healthcare cloud using artificial intelligence.
The approach to women’s health in this instance is anchored by what the company calls Sequences, digital experiences configured to support specific medical conditions. Sequences attempt to synthesize components like evidence-based digital therapeutics, online communities, coaching and localized resources with personally tailored care recommendations.
They’re open by design and can integrate with existing systems and point solutions, with members able to navigate to the offering that suits their needs.
Anthem’s intent is to apply these technologies to maternal health, with eligible members receiving access to an online pregnancy community. This would allow them to connect with mental health experts, obstetrics and gynecology experts, dietitians, and other healthcare professionals.
Members will also be able to tap into digital therapeutics, including a nonprescription digital therapeutic addressing mental health needs during pregnancy.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT?
Anthem cited findings in the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief showing women were almost twice as likely as men (10.4% vs. 5.5%) to have had depression. And research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that about one in eight women experience symptoms of postpartum depression.
Anthem intends to make the Happify Health Pregnancy Sequence available to eligible members in its affiliated health plans in select markets toward the end of this year.
THE LARGER TREND
Private insurers have increasingly focused on maternal health. In June 2021, UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Optum awarded $1.4 million in maternal health grants, pledging to provide pro bono services to five community organizations aimed at improving maternal health outcomes and increasing healthcare access for underserved populations.
The grants are part of several initiatives by Optum and UnitedHealth Group to address maternal health outcomes and disparities across the U.S. They include a $3 million contribution to help improve access to prenatal care in underserved communities in New York and a $2.6 million grant in Nevada to reduce maternal health disparities and help grow the state’s OB-GYN and family medicine physician workforce.
The Lancet found that the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of all developed countries, and is the only industrialized nation with a rising rate.
According to the CDC, 60% of pregnancy-related deaths are thought to be preventable, and patients of color face the greatest risk of death and complication. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, including variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism and implicit bias.