Behind Signify Health’s Plans To Address Kidney Care In The Home


Signify Health – a part of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) – recently rolled out a comprehensive in-home kidney health evaluation as part of its diagnostic and preventive services offerings.

Overall, 37 million adults in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease, and many of those cases are undiagnosed, according to data from the CDC.

“Kidney disease goes undiagnosed up to almost 40% of the time, and so our test is a very simple one that can be done in home, allowing our members to have early indication of kidney disease, and allowing them to reconnect with their specialists or even more importantly, with their PCP,” Dr. Heidi Schwarzwald, the chief medical officer of Signify Health’s Home and Community Services division, told Home Health Care News.

Dallas-based Signify is a value-based platform that leverages analytics, technology, health care provider networks and over 10,000 clinicians to power value-based payment programs.

Offering in-home evaluations is a big part of the company’s model.

In March, CVS Health acquired Signify Health in an $8 billion deal.

Signify Health’s in-home kidney health evaluation has two components. It includes a blood test that looks at a patient’s estimated glomerular filtration rate, as well as a urine screen that looks at their albumin-creatinine ratio.

The company will rely on its algorithms to look for chronic kidney disease risk factors, and then determine if an individual is eligible for having this test. The test is available at no additional cost to Medicare Advantage (MA) plan members.

“If the test is positive, they can then refer them back into their PCP, who may recommend lifestyle changes, possibly medications, possibly some more laboratory testing, or even perhaps a visit with a specialist,” Schwarzwald said. “Our ability to do early diagnosis allows for early treatment and prevention of complications.”

If left undiagnosed, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure. Individuals who are undiagnosed are also at higher risk for end stage renal disease, which lead to an extra $37.3 billion in costs to Medicare in 2019.

Schwarzwald believes that Signify Health’s new offering will be a value-add to MA plans.

“There is a new single weighted star measure specifically looking at diagnosis of kidney disease,” she said. “It’s the kidney health evaluation for patients with diabetes, and so we absolutely believe that this offering will bring additional value to our health plan partners in helping to close this gap and [offer] care early.”

Ultimately, Schwarzwald is excited to bring this type of care into the home.

“We’re very excited to be able to do this, and to provide high-quality care to our members and additional value to our health plan partners,” she said.



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