Highmark Health’s VITAL Innovation Program evaluating YouScript® Precision Prescribing Software for patients taking multiple medications

Premier Medical Associates spear­heading the eval­u­a­tion among a popu­la­tion of 3000 patients

Pittsburgh, PA and Seattle, WA (June 6, 2018) – Highmark Health announced today that through its VITAL Innovation Program, a test-​and-​learn plat­form, it is eval­u­ating YouScript’s Precision Prescribing Software designed for safer, more targeted prescribing among patients taking multiple medica­tions.

The unique VITAL program, which lever­ages Highmark Health’s posi­tion as the nation’s second largest inte­grated delivery and financing system, facil­i­tates real-​world testing of early-​stage medical inno­va­tions, producing evidence related to patient expe­ri­ence, and clin­ical and finan­cial outcomes. The evidence may accel­erate an innovation’s coverage and utiliza­tion by Highmark Health and its affil­i­ated clin­i­cians and health plans, fast-​tracking the solu­tion to patients, and supporting swifter market­place adop­tion and broader access.

Premier Medical Associates of Pittsburgh, an Allegheny Health Network affil­iate, is spear­heading the eval­u­a­tion among a popu­la­tion of 3000 patients who take multiple prescrip­tions by inte­grating YouScript’s soft­ware tool within its elec­tronic health record. Based on results reported through YouScript, Premier’s provider team is able to advise patients if they have high risks of gene-​based adverse drug events and if so, recom­mend phar­ma­co­ge­netic testing that enables their providers to opti­mize the patient’s drugs and doses based on the patient’s unique DNA and the medica­tions, herbals, and over-​the-​counter medica­tions they use. The genetic testing through this preci­sion medi­cine plat­form is being provided by YouScript- part­nered labo­ra­tory, Genelex, who has both CLIA and CAP-​accreditation.

Each year, adverse drug events claim over 100,000 lives and cause over 700,000 emer­gency depart­ment visits nation­wide.1 Most events are caused by medica­tions prescribed according to stan­dard dosing guide­lines.2 Some events occur because typical drug inter­ac­tion soft­ware is only able to detect binary drug-​drug inter­ac­tions, over­looking gene-​based inter­ac­tions and those caused by combi­na­tions of three or more drugs or genes, which repre­sent over 50% of signif­i­cant inter­ac­tions.

Recent studies3 show that using YouScript Precision Prescribing Software reduces re-​hospitalizations and emer­gency depart­ment visits by 52% and 42% respec­tively, by employing over 17,000 curated refer­ences and product inserts to simu­late a team of clin­ical phar­ma­cists deliv­ering real-​time, evidence-​based guid­ance.

Patient safety and drug effi­cacy are para­mount for providing high-​quality health care,” said Sarah Ahmad, senior vice pres­i­dent of inno­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion for Highmark Health. Through the VITAL program, we are further eval­u­ating YouScript’ s promising tech­nology for pinpointing patients who may suffer adverse drug inter­ac­tions that can be avoided by managing their prescrip­tions and dosages with greater preci­sion.”

The value and utility of a solu­tion such as YouScript’s could be profound in our patient popu­la­tion,” said Frank Colangelo, MD, chief quality officer for Premiere Medical Associates. While our current patient safety initia­tives have shown great success, we are impressed by the scope of YouScript, its tools and the poten­tial benefit to our patients and their outcomes.” 

By inte­grating directly into the prescribing work­flow, we can ensure every patient is receiving the safest and most appro­priate medica­tion,” said YouScript CEO Kristine Ashcraft. We are honored to work with the Highmark Health VITAL program and with Premier Medical Associates to demon­strate how YouScript can save lives, improve care and reduce cost by elim­i­nating avoid­able adverse drug events.”

VITAL’s eval­u­a­tion of YouScript is underway and will occur for a period of 12 months, concluding in December 2018. 

1CDC. Adults and older adult adverse drug events. October 2012. http://​www​.cdc​.gov/​M​e​d​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​S​a​f​e​t​y​/​A​d​u​l​t​_​A​d​v​e​r​s​e​D​r​u​g​E​v​e​n​t​s​.html. (Accessed May 30, 2018).

2Budnitz DS, Pollock DA, Weidenbach KN, Mendelsohn AB, Schroeder TJ, Annest JL. National Surveillance of Emergency Department Visits for Outpatient Adverse Drug Events. JAMA. 2006;296(15):1858 – 1866. doi:10.1001/jama.296.15.1858

3Elliott LS, Henderson JC, Neradilek MB, Moyer NA, Ashcraft KC, Thirumaran RK. (2017) Clinical impact of phar­ma­co­ge­netic profiling with a clin­ical deci­sion support tool in polyphar­macy home health patients: A prospec­tive pilot random­ized controlled trial. PLOS ONE 12(2): e0170905. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170905

About Highmark Health
Highmark Health, a Pittsburgh, PA based enter­prise that employs more than 40,000 people who serve millions of Americans across the country, is the second largest inte­grated health care delivery and financing network in the nation based on revenue. Highmark Health is the parent company of Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, and HM Health Solutions. Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affil­i­ates provide health insur­ance to nearly 5 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware as well as dental insur­ance, vision care and related health prod­ucts through a national network of diver­si­fied busi­nesses that include United Concordia Companies, HM Insurance Group, and Visionworks. Allegheny Health Network is the parent company of an inte­grated delivery network that includes eight hospi­tals, more than 2,800 affil­i­ated physi­cians, ambu­la­tory surgery centers, an employed physi­cian orga­ni­za­tion, home and community-​based health services, a research insti­tute, a group purchasing orga­ni­za­tion, and health and well­ness pavil­ions in western Pennsylvania. HM Health Solutions focuses on meeting the infor­ma­tion tech­nology plat­form and other busi­ness needs of the Highmark Health enter­prise as well as unaf­fil­i­ated health insur­ance plans by providing proven busi­ness processes, expert knowl­edge and inte­grated cloud-​based plat­forms. To learn more, please visit www​.high​markhealth​.org. For infor­ma­tion specific to VITAL, please visit www​.vital​in​no​va​tion​.com.

About Premier Medical Associates
With a team of approx­i­mately 100 dedi­cated providers, Premier Medical Associates is the largest multi-​specialty physi­cian prac­tice in the Greater Pittsburgh area. The company is focused on being a leader in the delivery of effi­cient, high-​quality care which drives down health­care costs and improves patient outcomes. Founded in 1993, Premier’s lead­er­ship team led a tran­si­tion that made the company inde­pen­dent in 2004. Premier’s inde­pen­dence allowed the company to focus on building a stronger model of patient-​centered care and expand oper­a­tions to include crit­ical services and special­ties that provide a continuum of care to PMA’s patients. In December 2011, Premier Medical Associates affil­i­ated with Highmark and today are an affil­iate of the Allegheny Health Network. Today, Premier touches the lives of more than 100,000 patients in 10 conve­nient loca­tions in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. To learn more, visit www​.premier​med​icalas​so​ci​ates​.com.

About YouScript
At YouScript, our mission is to save lives, improve patient care and reduce costs by elim­i­nating avoid­able adverse drug events. Based on fifteen years of tech­nology devel­op­ment that makes preci­sion prescribing possible, Seattle-​based YouScript was founded in 2016 after spin­ning out of Genelex Labs. The YouScript clin­ical deci­sion support tool is the only medica­tion manage­ment system avail­able that assesses the cumu­la­tive effect of a patient drug regimen and unique phar­ma­coge­nomic results. Based on over 17,000 curated refer­ences and product inserts, YouScript uses compre­hen­sive predic­tive analytics to inter­pret and provide an at-​a-​glance summary of the complex web of genetics, medica­tions, over-​the-​counters, herbals, and other factors impacting drug safety and response; iden­ti­fying at risk patients for testing and offering ranked alter­na­tives with reduced inter­ac­tion risk when­ever an adverse inter­ac­tion risk is found. For more infor­ma­tion, visit: www​.youscript​.com.