Cricket Assists Cigna in Kidney Care

Cricket Health, a company that aims to provide cost-effective integrated nephrology and dialysis, has begun to leverage its high-tech approach to kidney care by helping major insurer Cigna identify patients who may need further care./kidneynews/12_5/26a/graphic/26af1.jpg

Cigna was a supporter of Cricket’s vision and plans and, along with other funding entities, invested in Cricket Health. Cigna’s contribution was part of a $24 million funding round in 2018.

Now Cricket, which bills itself as an evidence-based firm, will use its technology expertise to identify and assist patients who have early to late kidney disease. Cricket attracted early investors and supporters because the company had designed a machine-learning algorithm that now will work to identify which Cigna customers might need attention.

Cricket’s algorithm relies on claims data; thus, there is no need for electronic health records or clinical test data. Using claims data lets Cricket run continuous risk assessment monitoring of Cigna’s patient population inexpensively, the company noted in a media release.

Noted Cricket Health cofounder and Chief Executive Officer Arvind Rajan: “Directing patients toward home care options when possible will be especially critical as more Americans are urged to stay home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.” Rajan, speaking to https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/special-report/cricket-health, added that the current health crisis “has underlined the importance of the Cricket model of care even more sharply.”

That model begins with Cricket’s algorithm to identify potential kidney health problems. Identified patients would become part of a nephrology practice that provides several alternatives, including remote care, in-person care, and at-home care.

For patients identified as part of the Cigna California work, Cricket Health plans to deploy a care management team with the goal of reducing hospitalizations and managing progression of disease; helping patients whose disease is progressing to understand treatment, including from conservative care, dialysis in appropriate locations, and transplantation; and encouraging patients to select the best care options for themselves and their families.

“Cigna has been an industry leader in adopting data to improve early detection and treatment for other chronic diseases,” Rajan said. “Together, we will apply the same evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease.”

May 2020 (Vol. 12, Number 5)