Externally validated study results presented at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) showed statistically significant cost savings and high levels of patient satisfaction and symptom improvement
NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2023 – Clinical trial results presented at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Forum show that virtual multidisciplinary care for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders from Oshi Health resulted in significantly higher levels of patient engagement, satisfaction, and symptom control. The prospective clinical trial, conducted in partnership with a national health plan in a large commercially insured population (n=332), also found that patients had fewer missed work days, improvements in work productivity, and statistically significant reductions in healthcare costs after six months, compared to propensity-matched controls.
The findings are important as digestive disorders are very common and have a high economic burden, affecting more than 70 million people in the U.S. – more than diabetes or heart disease – and driving more than $135 billion in annual healthcare costs,,. Patients with chronic GI disorders lack access to multidisciplinary care, resulting in poor patient outcomes and avoidable emergency services, testing, and procedures.
“The results from this study reinforce findings from prior randomized controlled trials and demonstrate that providing access to multidisciplinary care leads to meaningful improvements in patient outcomes, satisfaction, and quality of life – while also leading to a significant reduction in avoidable healthcare cost,” said Dr. Sameer Berry, MD, MBA, the study’s principal investigator and Chief Medical Officer at Oshi Health. “It also highlights the impact of purpose-built technology optimized for patient convenience. Patients are unnecessarily suffering due to the small incremental improvements in care delivery that we have seen over the past few decades. We now have an opportunity to broaden what has traditionally been considered standard GI care and radically transform subspeciality care for both patients and physicians.”
The study enrolled a total of 332 patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), and those experiencing symptoms but who did not enter the study with an established diagnosis.
Eighty percent of patients remained engaged in the 9-month program offered by Oshi Health consisting of high-touch virtual multidisciplinary care from gastroenterologists, advanced practice providers, GI registered dietitians, GI-specialized psychologists, and health coaches. Care plans were continuously informed and refined by a data-driven approach to tracking validated patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and dietary monitoring; health coaches provide patient-tailored support with behavior change, goal setting, and care plan adherence.
- Engagement: Patients exhibited high levels of engagement across the multidisciplinary care team, averaging more than 10 visits with Oshi Health clinicians. All patients received care from a GI provider (Oshi’s gastroenterologists & advanced practice providers), 93% from a GI registered dietitian, and 76% from a GI-specialized psychologist. They were also supported with essential care navigation and 24×7 chat messaging from Oshi Health care coordinators and health coaches, averaging 1 message exchange per day.
- Outcomes: Patients reported 98% satisfaction with the program. 89% reported improvement in quality of life, and 92% reported symptom improvement. Patients also reported 1.3 fewer missed workdays per month and demonstrated lower healthcare utilization including a 64% reduction in avoidable GI-related emergency department visits (p < 0.0001).
- Healthcare costs: The study compared healthcare costs between patients enrolled in Oshi’s program and propensity-matched controls using a difference-in-difference analysis applied to a national payer’s claims dataset. These analyses were conducted by a third-party and demonstrated a reduction in GI-related costs of $6,724 per patient (p<0.0001) and a reduction in all-cause healthcare costs of $10,292 per patient (p=0.00076) after 6 months in the program.
Oshi’s program was delivered through telehealth in conjunction with highly coordinated in-person care with community gastroenterologists. An additional analysis of an IBD cohort is ongoing, with results expected to be published once data collection is complete.
Oshi Health’s multidisciplinary digestive care model is grounded in evidenced-based, high-touch, whole-person care protocols. These protocols are clinically validated and recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology and American Gastroenterology Association, but are rarely implemented in clinical practice due to reimbursement and access challenges.
“Gastroenterology is at a crossroads; patients are experiencing long wait times for appointments and struggle to access dietary and behavioral therapies that are proven to improve and control symptoms,” said study co-author Dr. John Allen, MD, MBA, past President of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and former Chief Clinical Officer at the University of Michigan Medical Group. “GI practices face significant challenges operating in today’s healthcare environment given increasing demands from patients and payers with continued reduction in reimbursement. Forward-thinking GI practices know that the future of GI care will be hybrid collaboration between gastroenterologists and virtual care providers to leverage platforms like Oshi Health to prove value and enhance care for patients.”
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/about-niddk/strategic-plans-reports/opportunities-challenges-digestive-diseases-res earch-recommendations-national-commission and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787318
About Oshi Health
Oshi Health is a completely redesigned digestive health care experience that transforms access to care, the patient experience, clinical outcomes and healthcare economics. In a high-touch virtual care delivery model, Oshi Health provides diagnosis and integrated care for digestive conditions and empowers people to achieve lasting control of their symptoms. Launched in 2020, Oshi Health works with innovative employers, health insurance partners, health systems and community GI practices to scale access to multidisciplinary care, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the lives of millions of Americans with chronic gastrointestinal diseases. For more information, visit OshiHealth.com.