RxAssurance: Visible Results of the Prime Health Innovation Ecosystem Investment

Rationale / Objectives

Innovation ecosystems create environments where individuals and organizations can collaborate to develop new ideas and implement solutions. Prime Health is a business ecosystem that accelerates the use of digital health to improve health care. The Prime Health Challenge is a competition in which top health innovations compete for money and the opportunity to pilot their projects in a healthcare organization. One of the innovations that has shown success after competing in the challenge is the health tech start-up RxAssurance. 

Project/Program Description & Major Achievements

RxAssurance, a prescription optimization company based in Denver, engages patients and collects data for providers and payers to create healthy prescription medication habits, improve outcomes and decrease unnecessary hospitalizations and doctors’ visits. Physicians can engage the patient in real-time regarding their progress, rather than having to ask them to recall their health since their last office visit, and they can work quickly to optimize prescribed drug therapies. The company has also developed a comprehensive pain medication management web and mobile platform, OpiSafe, which was created to address the growing problem of prescribed opioid misuse and abuse and a free companion app called OpiRescue for first responders dealing with opiod overdose reversal. In 2014, RxAssurance was the recipient of pilot project funding through the Prime Health Challenge. RxAdvisor helped to reduce readmissions by 50% by patients who used the platform for more than 90 days at a pilot hospital. A pilot program of 100 Colorado physicians who prescribe pain medications were involved in a six-month, self-controlled study of physician use, satisfaction and guideline adherence. In April 2016, those practices using OpiSafe saved an average of 3.7 hours per business day or 74 hours per month. 

Lessons Learned

The pilot success of RxAssurance in various capacities illustrates the merit of the innovation ecosystem. Through the Prime Health Challenge and the implementation of Rx Assurance programs into Denver Health, development of additional applications that address issues regarding prescription medication adherence and tracking have been made possible. 

People / Organizations Involved

Further Description

In 2012, the Denver South economic development partnership partnered with the Innovation Pavilion to form Prime Health, Colorado’s health innovation ecosystem. The Prime Health Challenge has been running for the past 3 years and involves obtaining funding applications from health technology start-up companies. Prime Health then convenes with members of the Colorado health innovation ecosytem to evaluate each application through the Prime Health Quality criteria on the merit of the proposed digital health innovation. The evaluation process is three months long and culminates in a pitch competition. Six chosen digital technology innovations are selected for the pitch competition, and they then present their innovation to a panel of healthcare providers, where the top 3 are chosen to receive prize money. RxAssurance competed in 2014, and though they did not win, they secured a pilot program with Denver Health. RxAssurance have since developed programs with specific health care institutions as well as other apps that are available to multiple institutions. 

Rx Assurance is a digital healthcare organization that specializes in improved prescribed therapy outcomes through development of technology that engages patients and collects data. The system uses an application program interface, or API, that can be easily integrated into electronic health record systems used by health care providers, payers, insurers and employers to enroll patients on a large scale. RxAssurance has developed many applications for improved population health. These include RxAdvisor, RxAdvisor for patients, OpiSafe and OpiRescue. OpiSafe is the most recent innovation released by RxAssurance. Due to the epidemic of opioid overdose causing death, this tool is used to manage the prescription of opioids. OpiSafe provides tools for care providers to more successfully perform assessments and monitor their patients after they return home, when prescribed opioids. The platform also allows patient engagement through pain assessments and medication diary questions. The RxAdvisor platform increases patient adherence to therapies, and provides incentives for treatment adherence. 

Major Achievements

Hospital pilot data demonstrated that RxAdvisor helped to reduce readmissions by 50% among patients who used the platform for more than 90 days. A pilot program of 100 Colorado physicians demonstrated that those practices using OpiSafe saved an average of 3.7 hours per business day or 74 hours per month. In 2016, RxAssurance won the Health, Wellness and Food Award for Outstanding Social Impact at the Colorado Impact Days and Initiative award. The benefit of the applications on increasing patient engagement and satisfaction through technology, demonstrates the value of an innovation ecosystem in healthcare.