Mayo Clinic founding medical partner Optum adds 7 partners


Seven partners have joined Optum Labs, Mayo Clinic's cooperative venture to research better, cheaper ways to provide health care.

"As the founding medical partner of Optum Labs, Mayo Clinic is excited to welcome the fresh insights and perspectives that new partners will bring to this collaboration," said Dr. John Noseworthy, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, according to a news release issued this week.

Optum Labs, of Cambridge, Mass., was created in January 2013, as a research alliance between Mayo and Optum, a technology and consulting division of health insurer UnitedHealth Group, of Minnetonka, Minn. Its initial mission was to analyze patient records and claims data to find patterns that improve health care.

Noseworthy has said the promise of the emerging science of health care delivery may be game-changing in its ability to reduce costs and improve quality.

"This opportunity to apply world-class analytical tools to both cost and quality will provide the evidence necessary to deliver care that reduces costs and increases quality at the same time," Noseworthy said. "This effort will allow health care to finally measure value for patients and payers."


The new partners are:

• American Medical Group Association, Alexandria, Va.

• Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.

• Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pa.

• Pfizer Inc., New York, N.Y.

• Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, N.Y.

• Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Mass.

• University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis.


"These additional charter partners will help Optum Labs accelerate the pace of innovation, paving the way for exciting new research initiatives that can be directly translated to improvements in patient care," said Dr. Paul Bleicher, CEO of Optum Labs.

The group also has added AARP as "founding consumer advocate organization" of the collaborative.

Optum Labs participants will have access to information, analytical tools and scientific expertise to test new methods and applications, "to drive innovation in wellness and care delivery."

More than 20 research initiatives are underway at Optum Labs, including studies that compare results from clinical trials to analyses of observational data; the effectiveness of various medical devices; research into geographic variation in care patterns; and the most effective approaches to consumer engagement and treatment.

Results from Optum Labs research will be shared through publications in scientific journals and presentations at professional meetings. Several projects are slated for publication in mid-2014.

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