AmeriHealth New Jersey, Thyme Care partner to help members through cancer journey

Health insurance company AmeriHealth New Jersey is partnering with Thyme Care, an oncology care management company, to help its members navigate cancer diagnoses. The new alliance starts on Jan. 1, 2023.

Thyme Care, based in Nashville and founded in 2020, focuses on assisting patients through their cancer journey by providing education and support on their diagnosis and treatment, and ideally getting them to survivorship, according to Robin Shah, founder and CEO. Survivorship refers to the health and well-being of a person with cancer from after receiving the diagnosis to the end of life, including the physical, mental, emotional and financial aspects of cancer. But in the case of not reaching survivorship, the company also provides support for patients and families to have the best possible end-of-life care.

“That early process is one of the most vulnerable times in any cancer patient’s life,” Shah said. “And what we’ve learned is that it takes so long to understand what’s going on that we’ve got to solve for them. … Our focus and goal is to help people navigate through this complex journey.”

Patients can access Thyme virtually through four mediums: phone, text, email and video. The company has an application called the Thyme Box, which is a software platform that allows the navigators to understand the patient and receive patient information from their providers and health plans. It also allows the company to document information each time patients communicate with Thyme employees.

In the partnership with AmeriHealth announced last week, the health plan will educate its members on the Thyme model so they know to access it if they have a cancer diagnosis. Thyme will provide the data analytics on the membership population to help diagnose members early and determine risk factors throughout their care. 

Thyme will also provide resources to those who are diagnosed, including access to a nurse trained in oncology and oncology resource specialists, who are focused on social determinants of health and helping with non-clinical issues like finances and transportation.

“When a member gets diagnosed with cancer, everything else doesn’t just go,” Shah said. “So how do we make sure that although the cancer diagnosis itself is very time consuming, that they have someone thinking about everything else alongside them?”

Although members will receive access to Thyme Care at no additional cost, the two entities will earn money through a value-based care model, in which both organizations share accountability in the costs of care and the quality of care patients receive. 

Thyme was drawn to the partnership with AmeriHealth because it discovered the health plan has many members with cancer diagnoses, Shah said. Thyme then performed deep analytics to determine the types of cancer members were experiencing, the demographics of that population and the areas where care could be improved.

This isn’t the first partnership of its kind for Thyme, which also works with Clover Health. With both Clover Health and AmeriHealth New Jersey, Thyme’s current focus is on New Jersey and surrounding areas. Soon, the company will be announcing additional partnerships, but Shah declined to provide information on those collaborations. 

Thyme’s ultimate goal is to improve the experience and access to care of those with cancer, and the partnership with AmeriHealth is a step in that direction, Shah said.

“Our goal in this collaboration with AmeriHealth … is to allow their membership to have a better experience going through their cancer journey, improve their quality of care through this extremely toxic, complicated, laborious process of cancer diagnosis and treatment,” Shah said.

Photo: Mohammed Haneefa Nizamudeen, Getty Images