By Anastassia Gliadkovskaya, Jun 30, 2023 11:30am
Company executives assert that the core of what Thyme does is the human touch, not technology.
Thyme Care, a value-based oncology platform, announced new capabilities in its oncology care management platform, the company exclusively told Fierce Healthcare.
Powered by a data and analytics mechanism, which organizes numerous data sources from payers, EHRs and health information exchanges, Thyme Box leverages those insights to recommend personalized interventions and care navigation to patients.
Cancer is highly lethal and complex. Not only do patients have to navigate and manage numerous aspects of their care, but other barriers also exist, like social determinants of health factors. “Being a cancer patient is really hard at baseline,” Bobby Green, M.D., co-founder and chief medical officer at Thyme Care, told Fierce Healthcare. “In the healthcare delivery system we live in, it’s actually made even harder.”
Such highly complex patients need offerings supporting the whole person, Thyme argues. Led by oncology nurses and resource specialists, Thyme Box helps organize data and surface the right information at the right time in a dynamic visual timeline, and the technology is highly scalable, meant to enable shifting to proactive care.
The Thyme care team is “sitting beside our members as they go through chemotherapy, supporting them through the emotional, physical and logistical burden of their diagnosis, and ensuring they never miss a beat when it comes to receiving consistent, compassionate care,” Brian Dorsey, M.D., medical director at Thyme Care, said in an announcement.
Dorsey began his career at Montefiore Medical Center, a teaching hospital serving the poorest county in New York, the Bronx. There, he learned that “your zip code is a far better predictor of your health outcomes than your genetics,” he told Fierce Healthcare. But better, more coordinated care is possible, he argues.
The new Thyme Box features include the following:
Workflow automation: Care coordination logic presents multiple pathways for a care team to take. To support this, Thyme Care has a series of “if-then” workflow automations that trigger a set of recommendations or actions for the care team to take.
Playbooks: Thyme Care offers more than 100 various evidence-based support plans, which include a series of role-specific tasks for the care team. For instance, when a member is discharged from the ER, the “Emergency Department Discharge Transition of Care” playbook is activated. It prompts the care team to reach out to the patient, confirm they have a follow-up appointment, can access their medications and understand their discharge instructions. There are also playbooks for social needs and to connect patients to community-based organizations.
Member mobile health assessments: Members consistently receive brief digital check-ins, which ask about their symptoms and social needs. Their answers are recorded in Thyme Box and trigger follow-ups from the care team if there are positive screens. As an example, if a member reports nausea and vomiting, a Thyme Care oncology nurse is notified, who will then contact the patient, conduct an assessment, offer guidance and arrange an appointment with their oncologist if needed.
While the company doesn’t currently offer remote patient monitoring, it is something it’s considering, Thyme leaders told Fierce Healthcare. Of Thyme members surveyed, 63% indicated some illness-related financial hardship. Most of those (80%) have had an action taken by the team to address that barrier. That could include referrals to community-based organizations, helping navigate to benefits and help filling out forms.
Expanded EHR integrations: Tracking care transitions in a highly fragmented healthcare system is difficult, Thyme argues, and causes patients to fall through the cracks. Thyme’s expanded integrations, including new admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) feeds, gather clinical data from across the system. If members are hospitalized, transferred elsewhere or discharged, that data is automatically captured in Thyme Box and flagged to the care team.
Company executives assert that the core of what Thyme does is the human touch, not technology. “We have frequent and reliable touchpoints with members that build deep relationships,” Dorsey said.
The mechanism powering Thyme Box known as Thyme Frame is designed to support any risk-bearing entity managing oncology populations and help them shift from a fee-for-service model to value-based care. Thyme interventions reduce the total cost of care by $429 per member per month, the company claims. Thyme is backed by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), AlleyCorp, Frist Cressey Ventures, Casdin Capital and Bessemer and has raised $22 million to date, according to Crunchbase.
Thyme’s model is value-based because fee-for-service doesn’t allow for scaling interventions such as these: “No one’s paying for people to build navigation teams,” Green said.