Medtronic and Lehigh Valley Health Network collaborates to Deliver Value-Based Healthcare Programs

Medtronic plc , the global leader in medical technology, and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), an eight-hospital network serving seven counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania, have announced a five-year strategic partnership aimed at developing innovative, sustainable, and integrated value-based solutions to improve healthcare outcomes for the patients served by LVHN.

The strategic partnership will create programs that span more than 70 major medical conditions, with the goal of positively impacting as many as 500,000 patients in Northeast Pennsylvania and reducing their cost of care by $100 million.

The strategic partnership brings together the technological insights and operational efficiency expertise of Medtronic with the clinical expertise of LVHN. It also creates the opportunity for piloting and beta-testing programs, processes and technology at Lehigh Valley Health Network across multiple disease states with a goal of creating new technologies and services that will drive better outcomes for patients at a reduced cost.

‘This agreement is exciting not only for Medtronic and LVHN, but also for the healthcare industry, by serving as a template for how we can work together to achieve our mutual goals of better clinical and economic outcomes,” said Omar Ishrak, Medtronic chairman and CEO. “By working in partnership, trusting each other, and combining our expertise, we will create new models of care that are more connected and coordinated. Ultimately, these value-based programs will contribute to a more sustainable health system and a healthier community.”

“As LVHN continues navigating the daunting challenges in today’s healthcare environment, we are actively searching for new approaches and partners for providing better care and better health at better cost to our community,” says Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP, LVHN’s president and CEO. “The opportunity to create innovative programs through this first-of-its-kind partnership with Medtronic will enable both organizations to improve patient experiences and outcomes at a reduced cost.”

Initial programs will address conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and lung cancer, with additional areas to be identified as the partnership progresses. These are key priorities for the community, due to rising numbers of LVHN patients impacted by and costs associated with these conditions.

Medtronic and LVHN will initially develop programs across 10 to 15 conditions and value-capture initiatives in three main areas: therapy optimization, episodic care bundles, and chronic care management. The programs are designed to deliver improved efficiency, outcomes and patient experience.

A few examples of these programs include:

  • Bariatric Surgery: In general, bariatric programs have a long and complex vetting process. The average length of time from an initial information session to surgery is several months, resulting in an average attrition rate of 70 percent. Medtronic is working with LVHN to create a clear process for patients to learn about bariatric surgery, align staff resources to meet the needs of this growing area, improve provider and patient awareness of the clinical and economic benefits of bariatric surgery, and increase access for patients by making more bariatric surgeries available to surgical candidates within LVHN through improving clinical efficiency.
  • Respiratory Compromise: Patients with hospital-acquired respiratory compromise, often caused by pulmonary edema or pneumonia, on average cost U.S. hospitals approximately $18,000. Through a clinical protocol, education, and training with Microstream(TM) capnography technology, which is a noninvasive, continuous measurement of CO2 concentration over time, Medtronic is helping LVHN detect signs of respiratory compromise earlier, so they can intervene sooner. The goal of the program is to reduce respiratory compromise-related adverse events by at least 20 percent.
  • Thoracic Oncology: In its early stages, lung cancer presents few, if any, symptoms. Occasionally, lung nodules are identified as a secondary finding while the patient is being treated or tested for other conditions. Even when lung nodules are identified early, a lack of infrastructure, coordination and capacity to manage identified patients in a timely manner can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Medtronic and LVHN are analyzing data on patients that pass through the health network to build a best-in-class model for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung disease. Medtronic’s capabilities in imaging, data informatics and image-guided intervention will help LVHN to reduce complications, control costs, and maximize optimal treatment in the most efficient and effective manner possible, making a meaningful, positive impact on patient care.