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Accolade partners with Noom

By James Wantuck, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Accolade | May 21, 2024 | 3 min read

As Chief Medical Officer of Accolade, I'm proud of our long track record in weight management. We've been supporting patients with weight management since our founding. In 2021, we launched a formal weight management program with standardized, evidence-based protocols, including clinically validated behavioral modification, dietary counseling, and medication management where clinically appropriate.

By virtue of the longitudinal relationships our primary care physicians form with members, we're well-positioned to support patients during their weight loss journeys - which for many, has recently included an interest in GLP-1s. We’ve developed rigorous prescribing and deprescribing protocols for GLP-1s and other anti-obesity medications, and the thousands of obesity-related visits our primary care physicians conduct each month are a testament to the quality of care we deliver. Because advocacy is at the core of everything we do, we start from the assumption that every weight management patient receives care in the context of a dedicated relationship with their doctor and a personalized care plan.

That said, as I've worked with both our physicians and patients over the years, it's become increasingly clear that to best position our patients for sustained weight loss, we would ideally offer more lifestyle change support than physicians can typically provide, even within the context of an advanced primary care practice like ours.  The root causes of obesity are as diverse and varied as our patients, and patients need ongoing support with diet and exercise between physician visits, regardless of any anti-obesity medications they may be on.

That’s what makes today’s partnership announcement between Accolade and Noom so exciting. The combination of Noom’s proven behavior change program and Accolade’s physician-led primary care will assure employers that their entire member population has access to personalized weight management solutions that span behavior change and clinical care, and are therefore more likely to succeed than either approach in isolation.

Allow me to give you a sense of what the patient journey will look like as part of our partnership.

Accolade members interested in weight loss support will complete an initial intake process to determine which Noom offering best suits their needs, accounting for their health history, weight history, and many other factors. Members with lower risk will be guided to Noom Weight, Noom’s  behavior change program featuring content, coaching, and community resources. Members with higher risk will be guided to Noom Med powered by Accolade, where – in addition to leveraging the capabilities in Noom Weight – members will meet with Accolade physicians trained in obesity care. Accolade physicians will perform a comprehensive health evaluation and create a tailored care plan, which may include GLP-1s or other anti-obesity medications, as well as ongoing medical support with frequent monitoring.

Members who are either already on a GLP-1 or are newly prescribed a GLP-1 through Noom Med will receive access to Noom’s GLP-1 Companion, which is designed to prevent GLP-1 patients from experiencing common side effects like muscle loss, ensure adherence, and educate patients about these novel medications.

In early data, our internal studies suggest that approximately 45% of Noom Med users will not be candidates for a GLP-1 initially, as other non-pharmaceutical treatments or other anti-obesity medications are more appropriate for their clinical scenario. Ultimately, we expect approximately 80% of members who are prescribed a GLP-1 will successfully taper off those medications while maintaining their weight loss, as a result of the combination of excellent physician-led care and behavior change support in our partnership.

GLP-1s are a clinical breakthrough and they represent a new frontier in obesity care. But they don’t operate well alone. The healthiest and most effective way to harness their potential is to surround patients with the appropriate behavior change tools in the context of primary care model and that is precisely what our partnership with Noom allows for.

We’re thrilled to be bringing to market with Noom a comprehensive approach to weight management, that will allow both of our organizations to deliver high-quality, impactful care to our members.

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