The pandemic, bad habits, the health of the most risky population and the argument for prevention coming from Newtopia – The Health Care Blog

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BY JESS DAMASSA, HEALTH WTF

With 61% of American adults reporting negative behavior change (trouble sleeping, dietary changes, increased alcohol consumption, more screen time, etc.) as a result of the pandemic, AND care payers With healthcare providers expecting cost increases by 2022 in the range of 8-10%, one has to wonder just how bad our collective health has become thanks to the last two years.

Jeff Ruby, CEO of tech-enabled behavior change provider Newtopia, shares some startling statistics about the health of our population, particularly when it comes to the lifestyle-related metabolic disorders his company is trying to prevent. And so we get into a heated conversation about preventing conditions vs. managing conditions…pay-at-risk models vs. per-member-per-month models…behavior change vs. prescription drugs…and if a A business like Newtopia (executing at-risk on prevention-related goals) is better or worse positioned as a result of this population that, while sicker and riskier than before, is showing up in greater numbers to test their program.

It’s clear where Jeff stands with his platform based on genetics and behavioral psychology, but questions about how to best manage the health of our population as the pandemic progresses are still up for debate. Even in the public markets (Newtopia was one of the first digital health companies to go public during the pandemic, hitting the Canadian TSX as $NEWUF in March 2020), investor sentiment for virtual care just isn’t what it is. it used to be. Maybe we can apply some behavior change psychology there too? (wink, wink) Although Jeff speaks of “uncertainty about how US health care works.” in the context of the market, it appears that “uncertainty” is also pervasive in our approach to chronic care spending, especially now. Are Prevention Dollars Best Spent Dollars? A compelling case is made…

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