NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, the managed care affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, is partnering with Bay Area healthcare technology company Arine to deliver an innovative solution for reinforcing continuity of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when access to doctors' offices and community pharmacists is limited for many at-risk members, this unique approach is a safeguard against potential gaps in essential managed care delivery.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, VNSNY CHOICE, in collaboration with Arine, has been pioneering a novel 360° approach that leverages data science and clinical expertise to remotely solve medication adherence and disease management barriers for members of VNSNY CHOICE Total, an integrated Medicare-Medicaid Long Term Care plan, and SelectHealth, the VNSNY CHOICE Medicaid Special Needs Plan. Both plans were specifically developed to meet the needs of vulnerable community members who are dealing with multiple chronic conditions, are frail and elderly or diagnosed with HIV—a population that also faces increased risk for COVID-19.
Using Arine's Virtual Pharmacist™ software platform, VNSNY CHOICE is able to continuously analyze member and care team data, including clinical, social and behavioral information. This ongoing analysis allows for timely responses to member needs and the closing of potential gaps in care that could occur due to provider office closings and reduced hours of business operation, as well as changes in public transportation and other service limitations related to the pandemic.
In addition to medication and chronic disease management, the program tackles critical quality of care elements including preventative screenings and timely coordination between members, caregivers and physicians, and social service providers. With the Virtual Pharmacist™ program, VNSNY CHOICE Health Plan members, providers and community pharmacies receive tailored care plan interventions from Arine's clinical experts according to the ongoing outputs from the Virtual Pharmacist™ platform.
"Arine has been an invaluable partner for VNSNY CHOICE during this public health crisis," said Sofya Shell, PharmD, RPh, VNSNY CHOICE Vice President for Pharmacy Services. "It is essential that members fully understand their benefits and stay committed to their prescribed therapy, even more so during COVID-19 pandemic. During these unprecedented times, it's good to know that we can rely on the support of Arine's sophisticated, progressive technology and collaborative intervention methods to address our health plan members' special needs—and keep them safe."
Care plan interventions include: virtual tailored counseling and health education sessions with a clinical pharmacist; coordination with physicians for medication regimen changes; adjustments delivered directly to prescribers; medication synchronization; refill and home delivery assistance coordination with community pharmacies; in-home blood sugar tests and cancer screenings; and timely follow up care as needed.
"We have been thrilled to work with the innovative program leaders at VNSNY to continue meeting member needs during these difficult times. Arine's services are even more critical now since members have reduced access to routine care. The collaboration between VNS CHOICE and Arine has allowed members to continue to receive the highest quality of care and feel taken care of during this time," said Yoona Kim, CEO of Arine Inc.
Results of a 2019 partnership using the Virtual Pharmacist™ demonstrated a significant (7-13%) increase in the number of members adherent to chronic medications for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol in just seven months, leading to improved quality ratings for the plan.
Utilization of this collaborative approach has allowed VNSNY CHOICE members at increased risk for COVID-19 to maintain critical supplies of medications and receive appropriate preventative care despite limited availability and access to resources during the COVID-19 public health crisis and community "lockdown." By introducing and promoting access to virtual care resources, the Virtual Pharmacist program has also helped to maintain safe social distancing protocols for vulnerable populations and made remote interventions more appealing to members for use in the future.
About VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans
Created in 1998, VNSNY CHOICE is the managed care affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and shares its mission of compassion and care for the poor, the chronically ill and elderly. Our guiding principle is to help the most vulnerable among us live safely and independently for as long as possible in their own homes and communities. On any given day, VNSNY CHOICE coordinates care for more than 26,000 members through its array of Medicare and Medicaid health plans, including Medicaid Long Term Care, an Integrated Medicare-Medicaid Long Term Care Plan, and an HIV/Special Needs Plan. With offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and upstate New York, VNSNY CHOICE health plans are available in the New York City metropolitan area as well as on a plan basis in selected counties throughout New York State.
For more information, visit http://www.vnsnychoice.org.
Arine is a healthcare technology company that combines data science with clinical expertise to ensure that patients are on the safest and most effective medications for their conditions. The company's proprietary software platform, the Virtual Pharmacist, aggregates and analyzes clinical and behavioral data to identify gaps in patient care and uses artificial intelligence to address and resolve them on behalf of Arine's partners. The Virtual Pharmacist is being used to optimize treatment plans, monitor medication performance, and improve outcomes for patients on multiple medications by leading healthcare organizations. For more information, visit https://www.arine.io/.