Increasing Awareness of the Loneliness Epidemic to Improve Outcomes among Health Plan Members

Project Summary

Since 2020, Sellers Dorsey has been collaborating with Pyx Health, to address the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation across the country and create a healthier, happier population. Research increasingly indicates that loneliness has adverse effects on overall health including heart disease, anxiety, depression, and stroke, and can have the same deadly health impacts as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The Pyx Health platform has helped reduce loneliness and depression among tens of thousands of Pyx Health users and has demonstrated significant healthcare cost reductions for health plans.

Program Focus

Loneliness was a pervasive issue for vulnerable populations even prior to COVID-19, but the challenges brought on by the pandemic further underscored the crisis. Pyx Health leverages a combination of fully employed skilled virtual companions with app-based technology to deeply engage users with empathy and effectively reduce loneliness. Leveraging science-based programming and proactive human and technology interventions to gain trust with users, Pyx Health is able to address social determinants of health, reduce barriers to care, and improve member social health and general wellbeing. This type of direct focus on loneliness as the door to engagement has been historically missing throughout the healthcare industry.

Pyx Health sought to achieve the following when they approached Sellers Dorsey:

  • Increased Awareness (opportunity): Pyx Health had an innovative program but had limited visibility among stakeholders needed to broaden connections with health plans.
  • Loneliness Epidemic Acknowledgment: The loneliness epidemic grew significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to adverse health outcomes among health plan members: Connecting those dots was key for Pyx Health to get traction for their solution.
  • Integration with Health Plans: Pyx Health needed assistance integrating its program into existing healthcare organizations and working more closely with health plans to promote loneliness mitigation and deep member trust.

The Pyx Health program helps solve loneliness and improve health outcomes by:

  • Providing companionship and support for members via a combination of telephonic outreach from skilled, employed peer support staff and a dynamic mobile app.
  • Deploying evidence-based screenings to collect valuable insights and actionable data on a member’s mental wellbeing and social determinant needs.
  • Utilizing positive psychology and CBT techniques to encourage self-management, healthy habits, coping skills and social connections.
  • Helping members navigate their health plan and access available community, governmental and plan resources to address identified needs.

Program Creation

Sellers Dorsey collaborated with Pyx Health to develop and implement:

  • Strategic Partnerships: Sellers Dorsey facilitated strategic partnerships between Pyx Health and various health plans, helping the program gain recognition and credibility among key stakeholders.
  • Enhanced Market Positioning: Sellers Dorsey conducted market research to identify the specific pain points of health plans and members in combating loneliness, enabling Pyx Health to tailor its approach to address these concerns effectively.
  • Advocacy and Awareness: Sellers Dorsey assisted Pyx Health in advocating for the importance of addressing loneliness within the healthcare industry, raising awareness of the program as a valuable solution.
  • Integration Support: Sellers Dorsey provided guidance on the integration of Pyx Health’s platform into the existing infrastructure of health plans, ensuring seamless implementation both from a workflow and technology standpoint.

Emerging Impacts

Partnering with Sellers Dorsey, Pyx Health been able to make significant strides in tackling the loneliness epidemic and growing their business by:

  • Improving loneliness and depression scores for over 60% of Medicaid and Medicare members.
  • Demonstrating reductions in ED and inpatient utilizations for Pyx Health members.
  • Expanding their reach to more than 6 million covered lives in more than 70 markets across nearly 30 states.
  • Working with nearly all major payers, as well as government, employer and community health programs across the United States.
  • Increasing Pyx Health platform users by more than 1,000% since 2019.
  • Being named a Fast Company ‘World Changing Ideas’ finalist for THRIVE Pathway – a groundbreaking program specifically designed to address chronic loneliness.
  • Experiencing a three-year revenue growth rate of 1054%, landing them on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list 2 years in a row.

Client Insights

“Pyx Health has grown tremendously since working with Sellers Dorsey and we know that this Firm is an organization we can trust. Sellers Dorsey did more than just open doors and make connections, they gave our program credibility and presented the idea to the market that loneliness is an issue they should truly prioritize to improve outcomes and drive change.” –Lily Rager, Chief Growth Officer, Pyx Health

“Sellers Dorsey truly shares our passion to address the loneliness epidemic. They saw the innovative solution that we provide to address a problem, and instead of just selling it as a product, they helped the industry understand why it’s a problem and how our program can ultimately create an impact that produces results.” –Rachael Swan, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Pyx Health