GLP-1s are gaining media attention for their ability to help people lose weight, but they’re not for everyone. One company is launching a solution to help payers and employers and their members navigate the space.
Solera Health, a technology platform, introduced GLP-1 Step Therapy Support last week. The Phoenix, Arizona-based company works with payers and employers to match members and employees with different point solutions and vendors.
GLP-1 Step Therapy Support helps connect members of its customers who are interested in GLP-1s to lifestyle weight management solutions in its network. These solutions include Betr, HabitNu, Virgin Pulse and WeightWatchers, and they can help patients lose weight through modalities like exercise, diet and sleep.
“The FDA has approved these medicines as adjuncts to lifestyle change, not as standalone interventions,” said Dr. Byron Crowe, chief medical officer of Solera Health in an interview. “So we’re able to immediately deliver a really high-quality intervention that gets someone making the changes that they often want to make on the path to pursuing a GLP-1. … Maybe it doesn’t change their mind and a GLP-1 is where they end up and that’s totally fair, or maybe after making some of these changes, they decide a long-term medicine isn’t the right choice.”
The solution also has an educational component that shows current research on weight loss medications and is meant to help people understand GLP-1s. For example, a recent KFF survey found that 45% of adults are at least somewhat interested in taking a weight loss drug, but that drops to 14% after hearing they could gain weight back after going off of the drug.
The educational materials will be delivered in a “multimodal” format via email, text and phone, Crowe said. It also includes surveys during and after engaging in lifestyle programs to determine how members’ attitudes change in regards to GLP-1s.
“GLP-1s represent an incredible advance for weight loss, but too many patients are being convinced that these medications are their first or best option,” Crowe said in a statement. “When offered better education and seamless access to effective lifestyle change programs, many individuals choose to lose weight without a medication.”
For Solera’s employer and payer customers, the company’s platform also provides data on how members are doing in the program.
“We’re hearing from our customers that this is a really difficult challenge to manage operationally,” Crowe said. “We’ve got a surging demand for these medicines from many different places that are not always providing high-value care. … [We] provide the operational support to plans and employers to support that process.”
In launching the solution, Solera aims to help patients “balance” their weight loss concerns and find ways to help them while also supporting its customers economically, Crowe said.
Omada Health also recently launched a program that helps patients lose weight through lifestyle changes. However, this program is meant for people who are actively on GLP-1s.
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