Optum, Mayo Clinic partner to promote better patient care

January 31, 2013

Optum and Mayo Clinic have partnered to launch Optum Labs, an open facility designed to enable collaborative research and innovation focused on better patient care.

“Mayo Clinic’s extensive clinical insights with Optum’s healthcare claims information will help doctors better understand all aspects of the patient care experience and refine approaches to care that consistently help patients achieve the best outcomes,” Optum’s Jeffrey Smith, director, strategic outreach, Corporate Communications, told Formulary.

The partnership was started by bringing together Optum’s information assets, technologies, knowledge tools, and scientists in a state-of-the-art facility designed in Cambridge, Mass.  “Optum Labs provides an environment where the healthcare industry can come together to combine information and ideas that benefit patients today while also driving long-term improvements in the delivery and quality of care,” Smith said.

 “We believe this is the largest effort of its type-combining clinical and claims information-in the country. We must be creative about building relationships with other organizations to improve healthcare for Americans so we will be asking others to join our effort,” Smith added. “By working together and sharing information with partners on a national scale, we will develop a detailed, analysis-based image of the healthcare landscape that we believe will offer new insights into solving our national healthcare problems.”

 The success of Optum Labs depends on a range of partners, according to Smith, who said that the facility is actively engaged in discussions with other provider organizations, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, commercial and government payers, and other health-system stakeholders.

 “With Optum Labs, partners will now be able to better understand the full scope of the patient’s healthcare experience,” Smith said.

Examples of the work of Optum Labs scientists include measuring the best treatments for the serious blood cancer, chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML); developing applications that measure the relative cost effectiveness of medical devices; analyzing how to improve the diagnosis of hepatitis C; and increasing the understanding of health disparities among the elderly.

“By combining clinical and claims data, we have a much broader view into each scenario,” Smith said.

Optum Labs is a dedicated research unit, and it is not designed to be a profit-driven undertaking.  Optum is funding the launch of Optum Labs.