The ACG and the AGA Gastrointestinal Opportunity Fund have made “strategic” financial investments in Oshi Health to quicken the adoption of a whole-person multidisciplinary hybrid care model for digestive health, according to a release.
The collaboration between ACG, AGA and Oshi Health will allow for GI practices to offer dietary and behavioral health interventions based on guideline recommendations in an virtual care delivery model. The whole-person multidisciplinary care model will include dietary changes, psychological interventions and behavioral health support.
“This is a tipping point for a modern, proven approach to digestive health in America,” William D. Chey, MD, AGAF, FACG, chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Michigan Medical School and treasurer of the ACG, said in an Oshi Health press release. “As an organization, ACG aims to empower gastroenterologists to embrace the science supporting new guidelines and how to integrate them into clinical practice. ACG’s backing of Oshi’s evidenced-based approach is testament to the College’s commitment to excellence in clinical innovation and world class care delivery that benefits patients and practices alike.”
Additional investment came from Scott R. Ketover, MD, AGAF, FASGE, president of MNGI Digestive Health and chair of health policy at the Digestive Health Physicians Association.
According to the release, the ACG and AGA have evidence demonstrating the whole-person multidisciplinary care model is “highly effective” in relieving symptoms for patients with digestive symptoms, allowing them to take back control of their lives.
In a recent prospective clinical trial assessing the model, 98% of patients reported being satisfied with the virtual multidisciplinary care program, 89% reported improvement in quality of life and 92% reported improvement in symptoms. Further, patients reported they missed 1.3 fewer workdays per month and exhibited lower health care use with a 64% drop in GI-related visits to the emergency department.
“The data is undeniable and finding ways to bring integrated care through frequent touch points to more people is the aim of every gastroenterologist,” Ketover, said. “Embracing proven approaches like Oshi Health unlocks this puzzle, enabling practices to help more people find relief faster in a way that’s covered by insurance and enhances their own operations and businesses.”
Due to the short supply of GI-specialized dietitians and behavioral health providers, the multidisciplinary care model may be challenging for community GI practices to deliver care at scale, the release stated. However, through the partnership with Oshi Health, GI practices may immediately get patients care based on ACG and AGA guidelines.
“The structure of today’s health care system has created significant challenges for practicing gastroenterologists,” Sameer K. Berry, MD, MBA, chief medical officer at Oshi Health, said in the release. “Reimbursement challenges, operating costs, and patient expectations for between-visit care continue to distract us from the patient sitting in front of us. Despite these challenges, gastroenterologists are pushing through every day to take care of their patients. This model is not sustainable for the wellbeing of our specialty.”
He added: “We are excited to partner with the ACG and AGA as nationally and globally recognized societies advocating on behalf of practicing GI clinicians and scientists to scale evidenced-based integrated care more broadly. Together, we can bring relief to the millions of people who struggle with their digestive health.”