Freespira, Inc., maker of the first FDA-cleared digital therapeutic to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms of panic attacks, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in only 28 days, announced that Highmark Inc. is expanding access to Freespira to its membership throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. The expansion of the partnership, will include the addition of remote coaching on the use of the Freespira device for members not connected to a trained behavioral health professional.
Highmark is the fourth-largest Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization and serves 5.6 million health plan members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Highmark originally piloted Freespira in 2016 as part of its VITAL Innovation program to help members with panic disorder obtain relief with a new treatment option that not only reduced or eliminated panic attacks but also led to decreased utilization of medical services and decreased medical costs.
The study, published in April of 2020, confirmed that using Freespira to treat panic disorder and panic attacks is both clinically and financially beneficial. More specifically, the study, conducted at the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, found that 86% of consumers were symptom-free immediately post-treatment and 73% were still symptom-free 12 months post treatment. The study also led to significant cost savings for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. The reduced costs included a 65% reduction in emergency department costs; a 68% reduction in pharmacy costs; and a 35% reduction in total medical costs.
Freespira is unique in its approach to addressing the underlying causes of panic disorder and PTSD symptoms. Multiple studies have shown that hypersensitivity to carbon dioxide and related breathing irregularities are key physiological causes of panic disorder and PTSD symptoms. Freespira helps by providing users with real-time physiological feedback-based training to normalize their respiration rate and exhaled carbon dioxide levels to reduce or eliminate panic disorder and PTSD symptoms.
Freespira, Inc. is the maker of Freespira, the only FDA-cleared digital therapeutic proven to significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms of panic attacks, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in just 28 days by training users to normalize respiratory irregularities. Health plans, self-insured” employers and the Veteran’s Administration provide the company’s drug-free solutions to improve quality of life, reduce medical spend and support the appropriate use of valuable health care resources.
Highmark Inc. is a national, diversified health care partner serving members through its businesses in health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, and reinsurance. Highmark’s mission is to make high-quality health care readily available, easily understandable, and affordable for consumers in the surrounding communities.
This was reported by Freespira on February 3, 2021.
Contact information: Highmark Health, Fifth Avenue Place, 120 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3099; 412-544-7000; Website: www.highmarkhealth.org.