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 a high risk of gene-based adverse drug events and if so, recommend pharmacogentic 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 for the evaluation of this precision medicine platform is being provided through 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 and will conclude in December 2018.

1CDC. Adults and older adult adverse drug events. October 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/MedicationSafety/Adult_AdverseDrugEvents.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.highmarkhealth.org. For information specific to VITAL, please visit www.vitalinnovation.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.premiermedicalassociates.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.