UnitedHealth, Medtronic Value-Based Partnership Lowers Costs

07/24/18

In the first year after the launch of a value-based care partnership, UnitedHealthcare and Medtronic have announced that both costs and hospital readmissions were lowered for patients with diabetes. According to a press release, the companies have reduced both costs and hospital readmissions in their first year for patients with diabetes.

In order to determine the first-year results, the companies reviewed an analysis of 6000 members with diabetes on Medtronic MiniMed(TM) 630G and previous generation insulin pumps. They found that there were 27% fewer preventable hospital admissions compared with plan participants who were on multiple daily injections on insulin. Further, they announced that their partnership lowered costs in the first year but did not disclose the amount. UnitedHealthcare noted that its total payments to physicians and hospitals tied to value-based arrangements have grown in the last three years to $65 billion.

"These positive results provide further evidence of the benefits of both automated insulin delivery and of value-based healthcare models" Hooman Hakami, executive vice president and president of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic, said in a statement. "Through this unique partnership, Medtronic and UnitedHealthcare have demonstrated a commitment by both organizations to prioritize innovation that improves health outcomes and lowers healthcare costs.”

Both UnitedHealthcare and Medtronic will continue to evaluate quality of care and cost during the duration of the partnership. Additional opportunities for patients enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans is expected, as well. They hope patients will be able to better manage their diabetes and for quality care to be delivered in a more cost-effective manner.

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"These results show that patients with diabetes can benefit from using insulin pumps and comprehensive support services, thereby increasing the quality of the care they receive and reducing hospital admissions as well as costs," Peter Pronovost, MD, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare, said in a press release. "The first-year results are encouraging, and we will monitor patients using Medtronic pump therapies to ensure we continue to see improved quality of care, fewer hospitalizations, and lower costs."

UnitedHealthcare and Medtronic announced their partnership in 2016. The partnership allows UnitedHealthcare members with diabetes access to advanced insulin pump technologies and comprehensive support services offered by Medtronic.—Julie Gould