KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

UnitedHealth, Mayo Partnering To Merge Insurance, Care Data

UnitedHealth announced it will partner with the Mayo Clinic to merge insurance and medical data to try to improve and standardize care in order to lower costs.

The Wall Street Journal: Researchers Mine Data From Clinic, Big Insurer
The new effort, dubbed Optum Labs, will be part of UnitedHealth's Optum health-services arm. UnitedHealth Group Chief Executive Stephen J. Hemsley said the company viewed it as a "dedicated research unit ... not a profit-driven undertaking," and the goal was to create "a neutral place to conduct research" with partners from around the health industry, with the findings to be made public. He compared it to the historic Bell Labs, where a number of important technology discoveries were made over decades (Mathews, 1/15).

Bloomberg: UnitedHealth Joins Mayo Clinic In Pact To Improve Care
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), the largest U.S. provider of medical coverage, will join the Mayo Clinic in a research alliance designed to merge insurance records and medical data to find more efficient ways to deliver care. The venture will focus on fundamental issues that may help standardize care in a way that will lower costs, said Veronique Roger, head of the clinic’s Center for the Science of Health Delivery. This could include things such as analyzing the steps needed for successful hip replacement surgery or ways to get patients to consistently take their medicines, she said. "Every doctor, every nurse, every academic medical center wants only to do the right thing for their patients," said John Noseworthy, the clinic’s chief executive officer (Cortez, 1/15).

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