Clinical Blog
Published: November 01, 2023

With VBCs Becoming Standard Practice, Life Sciences Organizations Are Turning to Digital Companions

The healthcare landscape is evolving, with a burgeoning focus on data-driven outcomes and value-based care. As the pressure to demonstrate the value of their drug to payers, payviders, and patients increases, life sciences organizations are leveraging digital companions, beyond-the-pill digital solutions that deliver personalized support and engagement programs to patients to empower sustainable behavior changes, to collect real-world evidence (RWE), drive patient outcomes, and deliver on value-based contracts (VBCs).

VBCs between payers and life sciences are becoming standard practice

Concerns stemming from patients, payers, and legislators over equitable access to medications and the long-term value generated from a drug are creating a paradigm shift in the life sciences industry. Traditional fixed-cost-per-unit models are making way for value-based contracts (VBCs), a change driven by the need for RWE of drug efficacy. While fixed-cost-per-unit models are fundamentally volume-based and not designed to reward drugs that deliver improved patient outcomes, VBCs hold life sciences accountable for their drug’s ability to achieve specific goals in a defined patient population.

An increasing number of payers are seeking value-based contracts over traditional fixed-cost-per-unit models, with 58% of health plans having at least one VBC in place.1 According to a Deloitte survey, VBCs are within the top priorities of more than 75% of the thought leaders polled, with nearly 50% stating VBCs are a top-five priority.2

Even more, value-based contracts between life sciences and payers have made their way into the Medicare and Medicaid landscape. Per Pharmacy Times, “The growing interest in pharmaceutical value-based agreements has also not escaped the attention of the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has proposed rules that would allow pharma to innovate new value-based models without the constraints of Medicaid best-price rules that previously suppressed this kind of innovation. As a result, pharma company leaders are pushing their organizations to explore value-based contract and program innovation.”3

Digital companions deliver the real-world evidence payers are looking for from life sciences

With value-based contracts between payers and life sciences organizations becoming increasingly widespread, the pressure is on life sciences to deliver what payers are looking for: better insights into patient behaviors and RWE of drug efficacy. That’s where a digital companion is a critical driver of value.

Digital companions deliver a connected, personalized experience for patients. Consistent engagement with the drug leads to better patient outcomes — such as improved medication adherence and fewer hospital and ED visits. For payers, these outcomes translate to increased confidence in patient treatment compliance, long-term cost savings, and assurance in a patient’s readiness for treatment change.

By pairing medications with digital health technology, life sciences can collect the RWE it needs to deliver on value-based contracts, improve trust among payers and payviders, and drive financial returns that increase ROI. Thus, digital companions are giving the life sciences organizations that invest in the technology exactly what they need: competitive advantage in a healthcare market where VBCs are becoming standard practice.

1 Minemyer, (2023). A majority of payers used outcomes-based contracting last year: Survey. Fierce Healthcare.
2 Value-based contracts: Forging the way to impact patient outcomes. Deloitte.
3 Lotano-Saba, L., & Kornhauser, S. (2022). Pharma moves toward value-based contracting. Pharmacy Times.

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