Two concepts have belatedly emerged as major issues in the medtech world: cost and comparative effectiveness of medical devices. But no one has definitively answered the question of which devices work best in any given clinical category and therefore are the ones hospitals should use and payers should reimburse. Until now.
SharedClarity, a Phoenix-based startup backed by insurance behemoth UnitedHeath, is trying to disrupt the hospital purchasing business while helping providers and payors identify products that work. Current members of the startup are Dignity Health; Advocate Healthcare; Baylor, Scott & White Health; and McLaren Health Care.
Physicians from these member health systems review clinical literature on medical devices and respond to surveys about those devices, all with the goal of selecting clinically better products among similar devices. The data is then passed on to Optum Labs, UnitedHealthcare’s research and innovation division, for review. If a consensus is reached, then the SharedClarity sourcing group helps members strike purchasing agreements with manufacturers of the products that came out on top in the clinical review. If not, a more customized comparative effectiveness study is done that harnesses UnitedHealths’ claims data as well as device data before a final conclusion can be reached.
In March, SharedClarity announced that it was doling out the first contracts in the drug-eluting and bare metal stents space to Abbott and Medtronic. Boston Scientific’s stents didn’t make the cut.
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|Meet more agents of change in medtech at the MD&M East tradeshow and conference in New York City June 9–12, 2014.|
[image courtesy of PATPITCHAYA/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]