Helping People with Kidney Disease Live Their Best Lives
The kidney care system is fundamentally broken. Kidney disease affects an estimated 37 million people in the U.S., which is 15 percent of the adult population. However, too often kidney disease goes undiagnosed, and patients discover they have the disease only after their kidneys have failed, leaving them with seemingly no option other than costly and life-altering in-center dialysis. Even when patients are diagnosed early, they receive little to no support or care before their kidneys fail, pushing them once again to in-center dialysis. Education and early intervention are necessary to slow the progression of kidney disease and give individuals autonomy over their health care decisions, including flexible dialysis options and transplant. Cricket Health is a new kind of kidney care provider that treats patients differently. Cricket Health works with payers and health systems to identify kidney disease early, then deploy personalized care teams to slow its progression, and, if it does progress to kidney failure, help patients select the care that’s right for them and provide that treatment — whether it is transplant support, home dialysis, conservative care, or a more patient-centered in-center dialysis experience.
Cricket Health is moving the care of kidney disease upstream through early identification and education. The StageSmart™ predictive analytics model identifies patients with chronic kidney disease stages 3b and beyond with 96 percent accuracy. This helps health plan and nephrology practice partners risk stratify their patient populations and deliver stage-specific care, leading to marked improvements in key clinical measures compared with the baseline, including: 60 percent fewer hospital admissions, 77 percent of those starting dialysis do so in an outpatient setting (compared to 40 percent), 43 percent who need dialysis are initiating at home (compared to 11 percent), and 60 percent of those starting dialysis do so with a permanent access placed (compared to 45 percent). Cricket Health’s approach helps prevent people with kidney disease from going undiagnosed and people with end stage kidney disease from “crashing into dialysis,” a term used to describe patients who learn their kidneys are failing in the emergency room and are put on dialysis unprepared. These unprepared dialysis starts can increase complications and costs by approximately $53,000 per patient during the first year on dialysis alone. Cricket Health extends care delivery capabilities through the MyCricket™ comprehensive patient support service, which includes a multidisciplinary care team, peer support, and educational resources available any time virtually, as well as by telephone or in person when needed. In the last year, Cricket Health members have interacted with their Cricket care teams weekly on average.
Cricket Health provides a unique combination of disease identification, patient support, and personalized care that is unrivaled in the industry. Cricket Health’s proprietary StageSmart algorithm allows health plans to identify members with undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (CKD), while Cricket Health’s MyCricket platform makes it easy for patients to connect with their care team, peer mentors, and educational resources. People who have chronic conditions, especially those who have CKD, must do little things every day to stay healthy. Cricket Health supports these patients through personalized care tailored to their disease stage and provides them with the education and support that traditional nephrology offices are unable to deliver between quarterly or bi-annual appointments. Unlike other “digital health” solutions, Cricket Health also offers in-home visits when necessary, which helps patients optimize their quality of life and prepare for home dialysis. Without this level of personalized care, many patients would be condemned to a lifetime of in-center dialysis treatment, which has worse outcomes and is a serious burden on the patient. Cricket Health’s early intervention and prevention methods lower payer partners costs by optimizing care for their members with kidney disease.
In April, Cricket Health released results from its first year of deployment of its StageSmart™ proprietary machine learning disease identification model and MyCricket™, its comprehensive patient support program. Cricket Health’s programs have seen a 65 percent reduction in hospital admissions among enrolled members; a 94 percent patient satisfaction rate; and a 90 percent patient retention rate. Overall, Cricket Health patients select home dialysis as their first choice at more than 2.5 times higher than the national average, start home dialysis at 4.3 times higher, and begin dialysis in an outpatient setting at 2.6 times higher. Cricket Health patients use home therapies nearly 30 percent more than the national average. A peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that Cricket Health’s virtual care program can improve patient knowledge about CKD and increase interest in home dialysis. Among program participants, 80 percent of those who started dialysis did so in an outpatient setting, compared with just 20 percent of the control group. Participants demonstrated greater knowledge, answering 94 percent of questions on a kidney disease survey correctly in contrast to 52 percent correct in the control group. Cricket Health patients were also more likely to choose a home modality with 68 percent choosing a home modality as their first choice, compared with 36 percent in the control group. Cricket members are highly engaged with an average user watching 11 educational videos, reading 43 FAQs, and messaging their care team and peers on a weekly basis.
Cricket Health has proven to improve population health and save costs for payers, make life easier for nephrologists, and provide a unique level of personalized care with its 65 percent reduction in hospital admissions among enrolled members; a 94 percent patient satisfaction rate; and a 90 percent patient retention rate.