Humana taps Virta Health to help its employer members reverse diabetes—and we expect more payers will follow in those footsteps

The news: Humana is teaming up with digital therapeutics (DTx) maker Virta Health to bring its digital diabetes treatment to Humana’s self-funded employer group members.

  • This is part of Humana’s overarching goal of improving health outcomes through digital health solutions.

How Virta Health works: Virta Health’s digital therapy for diabetes claims to reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery—a major cost-saving benefit for payers whose members use the DTx tool.

Virta Health personalizes its digital program for members with diabetes to manage their carbohydrate intake and nutrition.

  • The program is paired with a virtual clinic, personal health coaching, on-demand educational resources, and online community, as well as continuous remote monitoring of a patient’s diabetes metrics (blood glucose, ketones, weight).

Virta’s digital diabetes treatment is clinically validated:

  • 94% of patients who were taking insulin were able to decrease or completely eliminate their dosage within a year of being in the program.
  • 63% of patients were able to eliminate prescriptions after one year.

And its treatment has demonstrated cost-savings:

  • A September analysis showed that Virta Health’s program saves payers $425 per patient per month ($5,100 annual savings per patient).
  • That’s important considering diabetes patients have medical expenditures that are 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes, per the American Diabetes Association.

The bigger picture: Employers’ medical costs are skyrocketing, and that’s only compounded by rising drug prices. We expect more employers to seek out DTx partners to stave off these costs.

  • Employer medical costs are trending upward and are projected to increase 6.5% in 2022, per PwC’s 2022 Medical Cost Trend report.

Go deeper: Check out our Digital Therapeutics report to learn more about how digital therapies are penetrating healthcare.