Arlington, VA: In June, the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA) lauded the vision of Representatives DeGette (D-CO) and Upton (R-MI) on their CURES 2.0 Initiative and their leadership “in eliminating barriers to innovation in the healthcare system.” DTA provided a letter with recommendations that align with our Alliance’s ongoing 2020 global initiative to break down patient access obstacles to clinically-evaluated digital healthcare.
Our comments highlighted how major healthcare payors in the United States, such as Express Scripts, CVS Health, Cigna, and individual BlueCross and BlueShield plans, offer digital therapeutic options to their commercial customers. However, since traditional Medicare and Medicaid plans do not currently have systems in place to recognize and offer access to digital therapeutics, aging and low-income populations are denied access to these remotely delivered, evidenced-based treatment options.
Digital therapeutics are critical to patient care, particularly in their ability to address the following issues:
“The impacts of Covid-19 on patients and clinicians continue to grow as quarantines are extended, as vulnerable populations are increasingly at risk of viral exposure, and healthcare resources are further restricted to those requiring acute care,” said Megan Coder, DTA Executive Director. “While digital therapeutics do not treat Covid-19, they directly impact critical consequences of this pandemic. Yet today, patients covered by publicly funded programs rarely have access to this category of medicine.”
Digital therapeutics deliver therapeutic interventions directly to patients using evidence-based, clinically evaluated software to treat, manage, and prevent a broad spectrum of behavioral, mental, and physical diseases and disorders. These products differ from health and wellness apps, telehealth platforms, or tools solely designed for monitoring, diagnostic, and adherence purposes. DTx products comply with rigorous patient-centered core principles and best practices to ensure product integrity, user-centered designs, patient privacy through HIPAA (in the US), and validated clinical outcomes via randomized controlled trials (RCT) and real world evidence (RWE).
“Product quality, patient access, and appropriate utilization are critical for all digital therapeutics,” emphasized Coder. “We support quality standards to ensure that patients and clinicians can be assured they are accessing a trustworthy treatment that has undergone rigorous clinical research. Building on the ease of product scalability and access through patient-owned devices, DTx products can more easily reach high-risk, rural, and underserved communities that often lack access to healthcare services even during the best of times.”
The Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA) is a global non-profit trade association of industry leaders and stakeholders with the mission of broadening the understanding and adoption of digital therapeutics into healthcare. DTA works to enable expanded access to high quality, evidence-based digital therapeutics for patients, clinicians, and payors in order to improve clinical and health economic outcomes. To learn more please visit: www.dtxalliance.org.