Highmark Health to Test Virtual Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Pittsburgh-based Highmark Health, the nation’s second-largest integrated healthcare network based on revenue, is testing a virtual cardiac rehabilitation solution for delivering cardiac rehab remotely to patients with heart disease.

Early in 2019 Highmark transformed its VITAL Innovation Platform, which facilitates real-world testing of early-stage health innovations, from an internal plat­form to a commer­cial offering — meaning compa­nies pay Highmark to test their prod­ucts. Making VITAL a commer­cial offering helps it source new inno­va­tions and make the program a recog­niz­able name out in the market­place, the company said.

Through its VITAL platform, it is testing Moving Analytics’ MOVN virtual cardiac rehabilitation solution. “In support of Highmark Health’s mission to create a remarkable health experience, freeing people to be their best, VITAL continues to focus on major diseases and early-stage FDA-approved health innovations that show promise for improved diagnosis, treatment and return to better health,” said Anil Singh, M.D., Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and VITAL medical advisor, in a statement. “By testing MOVN, we’re studying a new cardiac rehabilitation delivery system that could significantly benefit our patients and the millions of Americans living with heart diseases.”

MOVN is a virtual cardiac rehabilitation and care management program for patients with coronary disease, valve disease, or heart failure, or patients who have undergone a cardiac surgical procedure. It combines evidence-based guidelines, behavioral science, remote monitoring and health coaching to engage patients, encourage adoption of healthy lifestyles, and improve cardiovascular outcomes. Among its features are personalized treatment plans, a care management team, and a digital app equipped with user-friendly tools and trackers. The MOVN platform provides unfettered access to cardiac rehabilitation 24×7, at the patient’s convenience on any IOS or Android device.

Ade Adesanya, president of Moving Analytics, noted that this is the first time that a major U.S. health system is reimbursing for and evaluating the cost effectiveness of a commercial home-based cardiac rehab program. He also noted that only about 15 percent of U.S. patients eligible for cardiac rehabilitation utilize the services.

“We welcome the opportunity to test MOVN within AHN’s Cardiovascular Institute through the VITAL test-and-learn platform,” said principal investigator Srinivas Murali, M.D., chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and co-chairman of the AHN Cardiovascular Institute, in a statement. “Because of the general underutilization of cardiac rehabilitation in the United States, new patient-centered delivery strategies are urgently needed to increase uptake by patients from home—or  wherever it’s convenient for them—enabling patients to realize the many clinical benefits, including fewer hospitalizations, improved exercise capacity and return to a better quality of life.”

VITAL is testing MOVN through April of 2021 among patients discharged from the Allegheny Health Network with heart conditions requiring rehabilitation.