Highmark Members Embrace Lark’s A.I.-Driven Chronic Conditions Coaching
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (Dec. 2, 2020) — Lark Health, a virtual chronic disease prevention and management platform, and Highmark Inc., America’s fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, today announced a growing collaboration giving select Highmark members access to Lark’s 24/7 health coaching to prevent and manage conditions like hypertension and diabetes and to stay healthy through weight management and stress reduction programs.
Highmark’s vision is to deliver tech-enabled and consumer-friendly solutions that meet members where they are and allow them to more easily manage their health with highly personalized coaching. Since beginning the two-year collaboration, member enrollment in Lark has been increasing year-over-year.
“We’re so proud that more and more Highmark members are enrolling in our innovative offerings like Lark that help them take control of their health,” said Ben Edelshain, vice president of Clinical Engagement and Digital Innovation for Highmark. “Lark’s easy-to-use platform has helped drive consumer engagement, which means our members can better manage their health during this critical era of digital transformation.”
Highmark’s employer group customers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia, as well as commercial National group customers, are able to access Lark’s unlimited 24/7 personal counseling in real-time through an easy-to-use, text message-like modality.
Powered by conversational AI, the platform seamlessly addresses the whole person, with counseling for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, smoking cessation, stress, anxiety, and weight management, and it incorporates smart connected devices, like scales, that sync with the program to help remotely monitor conditions. When an emergent situation or complex question arises, Lark escalates the concern to a live interaction telephonically or provides a recommended next step.
“Preventing and managing chronic conditions is time-consuming, costly, and inconvenient. We need solutions that are scalable and meet people where they are, especially for individuals who might have comorbid conditions,” said Lark CEO and co-founder Julia Hu. “We are thrilled that Highmark members are choosing and embracing Lark to help them stay healthy, and we look forward to continuing our work with Highmark to offer engaging health coaching to more people.”
Lark and Highmark have worked together throughout the collaboration to identify and reach out to individuals at-risk of developing chronic conditions, increasing awareness of the virtual care offerings through social media advertising, direct mail, email, and text campaigns.
Chronic conditions are widespread and costly, and Lark’s programs are aimed at providing personalized health coaching to address them at scale. Six in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic disease, while 4 in 10 have two or more. Diabetes affects an estimated 30 million Americans, and is a risk factor for complications such as neuropathy, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. Diabetes costs the nation an estimated $327 billion annually in direct medical costs and indirect costs, such as lost productivity. Nearly 1 in 3 adults have hypertension, which is an underlying cause of over 1,000 deaths each day in the U.S. Hypertension costs the country over $48 billion each year. Nearly 2 out of 3 individuals with diabetes also have hypertension.
Lark Health is a chronic disease prevention and management platform that uses a cognitive behavioral therapy framework, conversational AI, and connected devices to help people stay healthy and in control of their conditions. Lark’s AI is continuously learning how to personalize the experience for the member and communicates via text-message-like interactions to monitor patients remotely, 24/7, while live nurses and health coaches are available when issues need to be escalated. Lark’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which is Fully Recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Health Program, Diabetes Care Program, and Hypertension Program have served nearly 2 million members, and have demonstrated clinically validated outcomes. Lark works with many of the largest health plans such as Highmark, Inc. and Anthem, Inc. to help their members live healthier lives. Founded by CEO Julia Hu and CTO Jeff Zira in 2011, the company has received numerous awards, including being named by Fierce Healthcare as one of 2020’s “Fierce 15” changing the world by changing the healthcare industry. To learn more, visit www.lark.com.
One of America’s leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. As the fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of more than 5.6 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
Cameron Jacox, VP Growth
Dori Zweig, Strategic Communications
Hear Highmark President and Lark CEO speak at AHIP on December 9
We pioneered the use of AI for better health. Combining the power of data, behavior change science, and smart devices, Lark’s digital platform provides scalable, personalized care 24/7 to help people manage or prevent chronic disease.