Sempre Health on Monday unveiled a new partnership to bring its gamified approach to medication adherence to members of a "large, provider-led health plan in Pennsylvania," according to co-founder and CEO Anurati Mathur.
In exchange for getting their prescriptions filled on time, patients in the plan, which has millions of members, can pay less for their medication. The approach is similar to "good driver" programs offered by car insurance companies. Enrolled patients get text messages from Sempre Health offering discounts that encourage them to fill and pick up their medications quickly. A text message might offer a patient one price if he or she picks up the prescription within the week and another, higher price if he or she waits.
According to Sempre Health, not only does that approach help patients save money, but it addresses a problem: Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. adults do not take their medications as prescribed in order to save money, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Patients never pay more than their copay, Mathur said. The company calculates discounts by looking at historical data from the patients themselves and data from a trial it ran last year to determine at which price points consumers' behavior changes.
The program is free for payers, leaving manufacturers to pick up the tab.
Sempre Health, founded in 2015, raised $2.5 million in seed funding last year from Social Capital, a Silicon Valley consumer healthcare investor. The company is hoping to build a network of manufacturers and payers that rely on the technology as a replacement for drug coupons.
"Payers really hate them, and they're really ineffective," Mathur said of the coupons.