On November 22, 2021, ACTION for PDTs hosted its first webinar Addressing Chronic Diseases, Mental Health, and Substance Use in America: Optimizing Care with Prescription Digital Therapeutics (PDTs). ACTION for PDTs is a multidisciplinary partnership that is working to expand the adoption, coverage and access to PDTs for individuals living with chronic diseases. The webinar reviewed (1) how PDTs work and are cleared by the FDA; (2) the potential for PDTs to change the healthcare delivery system and improve patient outcomes; (3) the need for Congress to create a new Medicare benefit category; and (4) the formation of ACTION for PDTs.
The webinar began with a presentation by Aimed Alliance counsel Stacey Worthy and Shruti Kulkarni. Ms. Worthy and Ms. Kulkarni provided an overview of PDTs as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared medical devices; the benefits of PDTs; and the current coverage barriers impairing access to PDTs for patients. The webinar continued with an expert roundtable discussion featuring Katie Archer, Director of Health and Welfare Benefits Design, Planning and Analysis at the Hartford; Dr. Andrea Barthwell, Medical Director at Encounter Medical Group PC and Director and Founder of Two Dreams; Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health at Solera Health; and Dr. Zachary Zalewski Consultant II at Avalere Health. Panelists had a robust discussion on the FDA approval process for PDTs, the benefits of using PDTs during the pandemic and in substance use disorder treatment, and the current coverage barriers for PDTs in both Medicare, Medicaid, and private health plans. The executive summary of the webinar can be found here.