PHILADELPHIA and SOMERVILLE, Mass., October 26, 2021 — Independence Blue Cross (Independence) and Podimetrics, a virtual care management company dedicated to preventing diabetic amputations, today announced an agreement for Podimetrics to remotely monitor Independence fully insured commercial members who have diabetes and a history of a diabetic foot ulcer with the use of the cellular-connected SmartMatTM. The SmartMat can detect warning signs of diabetic foot complications up to five weeks before they present clinically, allowing for early interventions to help prevent diabetic amputations.
Diabetic amputations are one of the largest markers in health inequity, disproportionately affecting minority communities. The complication is three times more prevalent among African Americans. In addition, amputations cost the health care system up to $100,000 per amputation and carry a five-year mortality rate of 62 percent.
“We’re proud to be the first health plan in the Philadelphia five-county region to work with Podimetrics on preventing diabetic foot complications and amputations,” said Dr. Rodrigo Cerdá, Vice President of Clinical Care Transformation at Independence. “Our collaboration will positively impact our members’ mental and physical health and will help lower health care costs by preventing hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and outpatient or physician office visits.”
Podimetrics will remotely monitor the temperature of members’ feet as they step on the SmartMat for just 20 seconds each day. The captured data is then seamlessly sent to Podimetrics’ virtual care support team, which monitors and ensures that members and providers are alerted if signs of complications are detected.
“Independence has demonstrated a commitment to improve quality of care while also addressing issues of inequity in health care,” said Dr. Jon Bloom, CEO and Co-Founder of Podimetrics. “We’re proud to partner with Independence to help their members lead independent and fulfilling lives without fear of amputation.”
Recent research conducted with the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group found that Podimetrics not only reduced all amputations by 71 percent in the population studied, it also reduced all-cause hospital admissions by 52 percent and emergency department visits by 40 percent. The results show the positive impact Podimetrics can have on a population’s overall health and the significant potential for payers to save on health care utilization costs.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. For more than 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. We deliver innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneer new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and support programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Podimetrics is a virtual care management company dedicated to preventing costly and deadly diabetic amputations. We provide high-risk patients with our FDA-cleared SmartMat through partnerships with payers and at-risk providers, including the Veterans Health Administration. After placing their feet on the mat for just 20 seconds a day, patients’ data are automatically sent to our care management team, which helps address any concerning findings. By combining cutting-edge technology with best-in-class care management, Podimetrics earns high engagement rates from patients, and allows clinicians to achieve unparalleled outcomes saving limbs, lives, and money, keeping vulnerable populations healthy at home. Founded in 2011 by a physician and engineers from MIT and Harvard, Podimetrics is headquartered in Somerville, MA and backed by Norwich Ventures, Scientific Health Development, Polaris Partners, and Rock Health. For more information, go to www.podimetrics.com or follow us on Twitter @podimetrics.