With Adonis Saremi, MD, MS, and Cody Fair of Noom 

When it comes to weight management solutions, employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of taking a comprehensive approach that combines medical interventions with lifestyle and behavioral changes. In a recent episode of Healthcare on the Rocks: Employee Benefits with a Twist, Springbuk welcomed Dr. Adonis Saremi, Interim Chief Medical Officer at Noom, and Cody Fair, Chief Commercial Officer at Noom, to discuss the evolving landscape of weight management and the role employers can play in supporting their employees' journey toward better health.

Below, you’ll find highlights and takeaways from their conversation. Ready to listen to the full episode? Click here.

The Rise of GLP-1s and the Need for Holistic Support

The conversation kicked off with a discussion around GLP-1 medications, a new class of highly effective anti-obesity medications that have captured the attention of employers and employees alike. While these medications have shown remarkable results in reducing weight, Cody Fair emphasized the importance of providing comprehensive support alongside the medication.

"You may have a script for a GLP-1, but not receiving the support you need alongside that per FDA label, should be used as an adjunct to diet and exercise. And that's really where the employer can come in and help and make sure that their members are essentially receiving the support outside of just the medications," Fair explained.

Dr. Saremi echoed this sentiment, stating that the combination of lifestyle changes, education, and medication work synergistically to create better outcomes. He emphasized the need for resistance training and adequate protein intake to prevent muscle loss during weight loss, a common side effect of GLP-1 medications.

Addressing Mental Health in Obesity Care

The discussion also touched on the importance of addressing mental health as part of a comprehensive weight management program. Dr. Saremi noted that mental health and physical health are inextricably linked when it comes to obesity, with conditions like depression potentially leading to unhealthy lifestyle choices and weight gain

At Noom, a holistic approach is taken, with patients undergoing depression screenings during the onboarding process and receiving support from coaches and clinicians to address both physical and mental health factors.

The Role of Digital Health Tools and Personalization

Dr. Saremi expressed excitement about the potential of digital health tools and apps to support personalized obesity care. Noom's app allows users to track their activity levels, log meals and exercise, and work with coaches and clinicians in a convenient and engaging way.

"By tracking your activity levels, tracking your food, working with a coach one-on-one, meeting with a clinician, getting a diagnosis and getting treatment, and also having that content, all of this works together in an effort with the technology, of course, to provide better outcomes that you'd traditionally probably get at a brick-and-mortar practice," Dr. Saremi explained.

Integrating Weight Management Solutions into Employer Benefits

Fair shared insights on how Noom collaborates with employers to integrate weight management solutions into their existing health benefits ecosystem. This includes partnerships with care navigators, wellness vendors, and health plans, as well as implementing step therapy approaches and engagement requirements to ensure cost-effective and sustainable outcomes.

Success Stories and Cost Savings

Fair also highlighted several case studies and published studies that demonstrate Noom's impact on cost savings and successful outcomes for employers and employees. One study published in JMIR found that individuals who used Noom's standard weight program saved an average of $1,219 on their healthcare costs two years after using the program.

Additionally, Fair shared an example of a Noom client with 11,000 employees, where nearly 50% of participants were able to achieve weight loss without being prescribed costly GLP-1 medications.

The Future of Weight Management and Prevention

As the conversation wrapped up, Nicole Belles and David Pittman asked about Noom's role in the future of healthcare, particularly in the context of prevention and chronic disease management. Fair expressed Noom's commitment to continuing to innovate and expand its product roadmap to provide a more holistic solution, incorporating elements like nutrition, physical activity, mental health, stress, and sleep management.

The goal, Fair explained, is for employers to have a one-stop-shop for addressing their employees' health and wellness needs, reducing app fatigue, and promoting long-term behavior change and prevention.

With the rise of GLP-1 medications and the growing awareness of the importance of weight management, employers have a unique opportunity to lead the charge in supporting their employees' health and well-being. By combining medical interventions with comprehensive lifestyle and behavior change programs, employers can not only improve health outcomes but also potentially achieve significant cost savings in the long run.

To learn more about Noom and their partnership with Springbuk through the Activate Marketplace, visit springbuk.com/activate

Listen to the full episode