Maven Clinic employees now have access to WellTheory's autoimmune disease care platform

WellTheory, a virtual care platform focused on autoimmune diseases, announced its first employer partnership with Maven Clinic.

WellTheory’s enterprise offering aims to deliver evidence-based interventions that manage, prevent and reverse symptoms that keep employees sick and costs high. Starting today, Maven employees now have free access to WellTheory’s platform that offers evidence-based nutrition and lifestyle coaching to reduce autoimmune symptoms. 

There are more than 100 different known autoimmune diseases. They affect about 15% of the workforce. Autoimmune diseases also disproportionately impact women and minorities. The associated cost of autoimmune diseases has become a significant portion of the rising cost of healthcare in the U.S.

“We really don’t have a sense of the magnitude of the undiagnosed population as well, that’s a lot harder to quantify,” WellTheory co-founder and CEO Ellen Rudolph told Fierce Healthcare.

WellTheory’s board-certified health coaches, licensed registered dietitians and care coordinators work together to address major autoimmunity influences, like nutrition, sleep, stress and movement. The company prioritizes nutrition because much of the immune system lives in the gut. Although research is limited, an anti-inflammatory diet can help lower autoimmune disease-related inflammation in some. Meanwhile, WellTheory’s health coaches are behavior change experts who can tap into inner psychology to create lasting, healthy habits, per Rudolph.

Maven's nearly 600 employees will be able to go through a clinically validated eligibility survey to determine if they are a right fit for WellTheory. Those who are will have access to WellTheory’s 12-month flagship program, including live 1:1 video sessions and unlimited messaging with WellTheory’s care team for longitudinal care. WellTheory’s app also offers customized nutritional resources, interactive educational content and expert-led masterclasses, and curated community support.

The program begins with a 60-minute root cause assessment and an onboarding session with symptom data analysis to craft a customized care plan. The second half of the 12-month program becomes maintenance, where a person starts to meet with the care team once a month. “The goal is to get someone into a good place,” Rudolph said.

Maven and WellTheory share “synergies around trying to create better offerings for populations that have historically been overlooked and underserved in healthcare more broadly,” per Rudolph. Kate Ryder, Maven’s founder and CEO, has also been a mentor of Rudolph’s and is an angel investor in WellTheory. “I think she feels like we’re taking a very similar path to what Maven did in the early days,” Rudolph said.

Most of WellTheory’s members have an existing care team of at least three care providers, from primary care physicians to specialists. The company’s goal is to support members between doctor visits. As part of a person’s onboarding, WellTheory obtains permission from patients to reach out to their providers to coordinate care. The company also helps patients advocate for themselves with their doctors, Rudolph said. 

“We’re trying to prevent further fragmenting of our members’ journey,” she explained. “It can be a full time job when you have a chronic illness.” 

WellTheory first launched its enterprise offering in October 2023 for employers and payers, claiming these stakeholders spend, on average, four times more on patients with autoimmune diseases than the average member. 

A year after launching its direct-to-consumer solution in November 2022, WellTheory said it had seen 100% improvement in reduction of fatigue, pain or general life satisfaction within 12 weeks. It has also seen an 85% decrease in ER and urgent care visits within 16 weeks and more than $10,000 estimated annual savings per member on biologics. 

More enterprise partnerships are expected this year, according to Rudolph. What is resonating with many of the potential partners is the sheer cost of autoimmune disease and the return on investment, she said.

“We’re really positioning ourselves as a less expensive lower risk way to address autoimmune disease,” Rudolph said.