Members of Presbyterian Health Plan who have intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities now have access to an app that allows them to receive customized fitness regimens, a move leadership at Presbyterian says allows them to address health care inequities in the state.
The health insurer, an arm of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, partnered with New Mexico-based TruFit to offer the app to enrollees with self-directed benefits, said PHP Chief Medical Officer Gray Clarke. Soon, the health insurer hopes to open access to the app for the larger Medicaid population enrolled in PHP.
“It came out of our acknowledgement of the need to address inequities in individuals with disabilities, and our recognition that individuals with disabilities have even higher rates of all chronic conditions than others do,” Clarke said. “So we’re talking about diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, all of those. And so we were looking for unique solutions to really provide concrete solutions to meet the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.”
Talks between PHP and TruFit began about a year ago, said co-founder and CEO Adam White, when the app was still in its beta-testing stage. But he said the company’s goal was to get in touch with health insurance companies to offer the service through their coverage, rather than just having people pay for the app via a subscription.
He said when he brought the idea to the Presbyterian team, they were “very enthusiastic about what we were doing and it just sort of led to this now where we launched this program to their self-directed members.”
TruFit, which for non-Presbyterian Health Plan members comes at a cost of a $10 monthly subscription, launched last year on the Apple and Google Play app stores. It allows users to find customized workouts, such as in endurance, mobility and stabilization that are tailored to an individual. It also offers the ability for people to join communities where “adaptive athletes can connect with coaches to help them improve their fitness and coach them along the way,” White said.
The app came long after the company’s founding in 2010 when TruFit had initially launched as a fitness company that invented and manufactured a fitness product.
“Through the course of what we were doing, we discovered the disability population and sort of identified that there was a health inequity there in terms of accessibility to adaptive health and wellness and fitness,” White said. “We decided to pivot about five or six years ago and started developing this program with the Arc of San Diego. And that evolved into a book, which then evolved into the app, which we’re bringing to Presbyterian members now.”
TruFit also partnered with Western Sky Community Care, White said, and is looking to connect with nonprofits in the state to get more adaptive athletes on the app.