How AI Can Decrease Drug-related Health Equity Challenges

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Surveyor Health Corporation launched the SurveyorAI platform, a patented technology that drives efficiency and affordability for population medication management using drug knowledge from FDB (First Databank).

The company also released the results of a Stanford-guided two-year study and peer reviewed research in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. The study validates the platform’s ability to enhance remote medication management while lowering costs, reducing utilization, and improving health.

The results of the study are based on a pilot conducted with IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country.

“Adverse drug reactions result in 275,689 deaths and cost more than $528 billion per year*,” said Erick Von Schweber, co-founder of Surveyor Health Corporation. “SurveyorAI uses artificial intelligence and information derived from payer claims systems to identify those in need of intervention. The platform surfaces medication risks while searching through medication data to support telephonic interventions by pharmacists to implement safer regimens for any combination of ailments. After many years of development and testing, we are proud to be mitigating adverse drug reactions while reducing regimen risk, saving organizations money, and improving the overall health of patients in need.”

The key findings published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy include

  • Regimen Risk Reduction Stats
    • 15.2% reduction in serious drug-drug interactions
    • 13.1% reduction in duplications of therapy
    • 3.9% reduction in additive adverse events
  • Healthcare Savings Stats
    • The economic study found a 19.3% reduction in the total cost of care (TCoC) that yielded a savings of $554 per member per month. This translates to approximately $1.2M a month and over $14M annually for the 2,150 members in the study.   
    • Medication costs alone showed a 17.4% reduction, which yielded a savings of $192 per member per month.  
    • The utilization study found a 15% reduction in ER visits, a 9% reduction in hospital admissions, and a 10% reduction in bed days. 
    • Return on investment is 12.4:1 based on TCoC savings and program costs.
    • The savings, averaged over the entire membership of 1.24M, are $.96 per member per month due to interventions by just 5 full time pharmacists using Surveyor Health’s AI and drug data from FDB (First Databank).
    • Extended to members with similar risks, these interventions will save the Plan at least $109M annually and save California’s Medi-Cal (Medicaid) nearly $1.2B. This demonstrates how valuable it would be for Medicaid to support this quality of intervention for its members.

“IEHP works tirelessly to improve, innovate and mobilize, in tandem with our Providers, to help our Members achieve the optimal health they deserve,” said Dr. Edward Jai, IEHP Senior Director of Pharmaceutical Services. “I am heartened that our partnership with a comprehensive CMM program by pharmacists, aided by novel decision technology, enables us to connect the right Members to the right resources at the right time and engage a team of support around individual Members. Working together, we’ve decreased emergency department visits and hospitalizations, greatly impacting lives and fostering better health.”

Risks from medications are traditionally explored in isolation without always looking at the combinatorial effects of medications three at a time, four at a time, even twenty-five or more at a time, etc. that may be duplicative, additive or interact adversely. 

The SurveyorAI platform consumes patient member information, assembled from multiple data sources, including labs and medication fills and then uniquely applies drug knowledge from FDB to probabilistically model patient risks for population stratification and to provide decision support during remote interventions to better inform medication treatment plan adjustments and to educate patients.

“FDB’s collaboration with Surveyor Health combines the power of our well-curated and vetted drug data and Surveyor’s AI-based technology to help keep patients safer and healthier,” said Bob Katter, president of FDB. “By identifying at-risk cohorts and applying this combined technology to telephonic medication management consults, Surveyor Health can identify and address issues such as potential drug-drug interactions and medication adherence gaps to improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care.”

The SurveyorAI platform: 

  • Evaluates a multi-drug regimen as a complex system of varying components, assessing the risks posed by numerous medications often being taken at the same time.
  • Simulates prospective changes to a drug regimen to aid the clinician in deciding the optimal configuration in the face of so many tradeoffs. 
  • Expands the clinician’s knowledge, giving them the ability to, at-a-glance, understand and gain insight into the complexities of the large drug regimens all too common in high risk patients. This improves teamwide clinical consistency. 
  • Reduces overall medication regimen risks, leading to improved health, fewer hospital and ER visits and ultimately a reduction in healthcare costs.

“This study is also further evidence that pharmacist medication management services such as CMM are cost-effective in a Medicaid population, provides an impressive return on investment and represents good stewardship of the public resources with which we have been entrusted,” continued Dr. Jai.

*Note: The data regarding adverse drug reactions was published in the Annals of Pharmacology, 2018.

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