Custom Health, L.A. Care Team Up on Adherence Pilot

Custom is one of the growing number of companies focusing on adherence. It changed its name from Pack4U last year.

The push to use technology to improve medication adherence is at the heart of a new pilot program between the California-based digital health firm Custom Health and L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the United States.

The two entities last month announced that they will partner together on a six month project to see how Custom Health’s suite of services can improve the healthcare of 100 special needs patients.

Rahul Chopra, M.S., MBA, Custom Health’s CEO, told Managed Healthcare Executive®, he believes the partnership will help LA Care better manage the cost of care and healthcare outcomes of patients, while also creating a data set to demonstrate the benefits of the program.

“We are confident that with our integrated systems, there will be benefits for both the health plan and the individuals they serve,” he said.

Custom Health is part of a growing number of adherence-focused technology companies. The company is selling an integrated delivery model that a variety of digital tools that both track when patients take their medications and monitor important health metrics, such as blood pressure and blood glucose. Those data can help the company’s team of in-house pharmacists monitor patients and intervene as needed.

Yana Paulson, Pharm.D., LA Care’s chief pharmacy officer, said the central role of pharmacists in Custom Health’s model was attractive.

“We know pharmacist-led service delivery increases medication adherence, so we're thrilled to have Custom Health's know-how to provide personalized care to our members,” Paulson said, in a press release.

Chopra said in this interview with MHE that one of the key goals with regard to the particular patients in the pilot program is to help ensure reliable access to patient medication.

“In terms of the opportunities we see for helping this unique population, we hope that for those that have difficulties with transportation to access medication, we eliminate that barrier and bring their prescription medicines to them, then we help them stay adherent with customized care and real-time clinical oversight using data and our digital health tools and services,” Chopra said.

The deal closed out a busy year for Custom Health. In September, the company opened its newest pharmacy, in Tennessee. In October, the company rebranded to Custom Health from its original name, Pack4U, in order to reflect its broader focus on data-driven personalized care. Later that month, the firm acquired the software company Health in Motion Network.

Chopra said he believes now is an important moment in terms of solving the persistent problem of patient non-adherence.

“Adherence is the first line of the care system,” he said. “The industry standards in adherence are quite sparse and only partially represent patient needs.”

However, he said the solution to improving patient adherence is not just about using devices to track when medications are taken or compiling data to help understand when and why patients miss doses. Rather, he believes the solution will be about leveraging all of those tools together in order to holistically understand and address the unique reasons for non-adherence on a patient-by-patient level.

“Our proprietary end-to-end systems not only track medications, but they also help our team understand if medications are doing what they should and take action to course correct if they are not,” he said. “We stop the guesswork when it comes to medication.”