Wisconsin health plan increases availability of Freespira digital therapeutic due to strong clinical outcomes and high prevalence of undiagnosed panic disorder and PTSD in member population
KIRKLAND, Wash., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — 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, today announced that Children’s Community Health Plan (CCHP) has extended its partnership with the company. Under the expansion, Freespira will continue its outreach to CCHP members diagnosed with these debilitating conditions, and also begin outreach to members that Freespira identifies as likely having undiagnosed and untreated panic disorder or PTSD symptoms.
CCHP, an affiliate of Children’s Wisconsin, is an HMO dedicated to providing access to the highest quality healthcare and services to more than 160,000 adults and children living in Wisconsin through both its Medicaid and Marketplace products. According to the health plan’s analysis, adult medical and pharmacy claims for members diagnosed with panic disorder and PTSD were two to three times more costly than the general adult population. These metrics align with studies that show that patients who experience repeated, intense panic attacks require two times the doctor visits, five times more emergency room visits and nine times the pharmacy costs of patients who don’t suffer from panic attacks, when controlling for overall health status.
When CCHP began its partnership with Freespira in February 2021, the teams launched broad communication to members and providers to create awareness and ensure high engagement and adoption of the 28-day, at-home treatment. Then, they targeted members with a formal diagnosis of panic disorder or PTSD based on CCHP’s claims data. The efforts have proven successful with 71 percent of treated members achieving a significant reduction in panic disorder symptoms in 28-days, and 44 percent achieving remission, according to the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS), the gold standard for measuring symptom severity for this debilitating condition. Fifty-one percent of members treated for PTSD achieved significant reductions in their symptoms, according to the PCL-5 survey, which measures the clinical markers that reflect improvements in life-functioning.
“Only 3 percent of our member population had a specific diagnosis of panic disorder or PTSD. However, further analysis conducted by Freespira’s proprietary Impactability Analysis found that 9 percent of our members meet the diagnosis criteria for these conditions and could achieve similarly successful clinical outcomes from the at-home treatment,” said Mark Rakowski, chief operating officer, CCHP. “We’re excited to work with Freespira to help more diagnosed and undiagnosed members to realize the benefits of this treatment that delivers on its clinical promise, reduces barriers to care, and empowers us to improve the mental and physical health of our communities.”
Qualitative feedback from CCHP users has also been compelling. According to one member, “Before using Freespira, I could not drive long distances. It gave me panic attacks. Now, after using Freespira, I can drive again.” Other members have reported similar improvements in quality of life, like being able to visit crowded restaurants and attending events that they would have typically avoided.
“We commend CCHP for being an innovator and a leader in addressing the mental health needs of members who struggle with panic disorder and PTSD and have not realized relief from traditional therapy or medications, or may be still undiagnosed and suffering in silence,” said Dean Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer, Freespira. “CCHP’s results are yet another data point to illustrate that Freespira is a much-needed, in-demand new option that delivers real-world clinical results. But even more importantly, CCHP is not alone and their story proves that panic disorder and PTSD are not rare conditions. They are very prevalent in our society and more people need to be both diagnosed and treated to live the lives that they deserve.”
Freespira is transforming the treatment of panic disorder and PTSD by addressing the underlying physiological factors of these conditions. As an alternative to medications and therapy, the treatment normalizes breathing irregularities developed in response to underlying carbon dioxide (CO2) hypersensitivity, which contributes to the symptoms of panic disorder and PTSD. Freespira provides users with real-time physiological feedback-based training to regulate their respiration rate and exhaled CO2 levels. Telehealth coaching also guides patients through the care journey to deliver maximum benefits from the twice daily, 17-minute treatments. To learn more about Freespira, please visit freespira.com.
About Children’s Community Health Plan (CCHP)
Children’s Community Health Plan (CCHP), an affiliate of Children’s Wisconsin, is an HMO dedicated to providing access to the highest quality health care and services to our members living in Wisconsin. We are proud to serve over 160,000 members between our two products, Medicaid and Marketplace. Children’s Community Health Plan is a member of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), which is a national trade association representing more than 75 nonprofit safety net health plans which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. ACAP’s mission is to strengthen not-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans in their work to improve the health and well-being of lower-income people and/or people with significant health needs.
About Freespira, Inc.
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 expenditures and support the appropriate use of valuable healthcare resources. Find out how at www.freespira.com.