Blue Shield of California's Wellvolution growing its platform for members with diabetes

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Blue Shield of California is expanding its Wellvolution program. (Getty/ChrisBoswell)

Blue Shield of California is growing its Wellvolution digital health program to include new tools to empower members with diabetes to manage their own conditions.

Wellvolution will add Care Compass, a platform that allows members to design their own care plans for their diabetes, and enhance the offerings through existing partner Betr Health to provide home meal delivery.

Members can use Care Compass' tools to quickly share information such as blood sugar targets, lifestyle treatment plans and medications with physicians, family or friends to allow for more effective care management.

Angie Kalousek, senior director of lifestyle medicine at Blue Shield, told Fierce Healthcare that members are more adherent to treatment plans when they play a role in designing them.

"What we're hoping to do with Care Compass is get members engaged in their healthcare," she said.

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Betr Health is already a part of Wellvolution's suite of tools, where it provides a digital platform for members to track their food intake, weight and blood sugar levels. Kalousek said that adding Betr Health's home delivery piece allows people who may lack access to healthy food to use the tool as well.

The goal, she said, was to offer a solution that tackles both diabetes management and the social determinants of health—in this case, food insecurity—in tandem.

"To treat and reverse, there needs to be access to healthy food, and we know that there are some people that are food insecure and don’t have the resources to have healthy food," she said.

Kalousek said users are able to receive six months of healthy meals through the program, which are designed for their entire family.

Wellvolution, which initially launched in the summer of 2019, has grown to include dozens of digital apps for members to use and covers services at 30,000 locations. Of the members in Blue Shield's diabetes care program, 81% are using either Betr Health or Virta Health, two key platforms targeting Type 2 diabetes.

Kalousek said that while Wellvolution has to date largely focused on cardiometabolic disorders, the team is eyeing multiple areas that it could tackle next. For one, the pandemic has significantly highlighted the impacts of mental health needs on many members.

She said Wellvolution is working on a platform for stress and resilience as well as one for higher-acuity mental health needs over the course of this year.

Other potential growth areas include gut health, women's health and musculoskeletal conditions, Kalousek said.