January 15, 2013 at 07:00 AM EST
Optum, Mayo Clinic Partner to Launch Optum Labs: An Open, Collaborative Research and Innovation Facility Focused on Better Care for Patients

Optum and Mayo Clinic today jointly launched Optum Labs, an open, collaborative research and development facility with a singular goal: improving patient care. Based in Cambridge, Mass., Optum Labs provides an environment where the health care 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.

Optum and Mayo Clinic will make their information assets, technologies, knowledge tools and scientific expertise available to organizations interested in pursuing practical new solutions to patient care challenges. As the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world, Mayo Clinic will also contribute valuable insights directly from patient experiences. Mayo Clinic’s extensive clinical expertise will be instrumental in guiding Optum Labs’ research agenda and applying research results and insights directly to the patient care environment. Combining Mayo Clinic’s extensive clinical insights with Optum’s health care 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. Other Optum Labs participants will include academic institutions, life sciences companies, commercial and government payers, and other care providers.

“As a founding partner of Optum Labs, Mayo Clinic is excited to work with Optum and other organizations to address the challenges and issues facing health care in order to help us provide better care to our patients, and help lead improvements to the delivery of care,” said John Noseworthy, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic. “Our strategic research alliance with Optum Labs will leverage what we believe to be the largest combined source of clinical and claims information, providing a more comprehensive picture of patients’ diagnoses, progression of diseases, comparative treatments and outcomes.”

“We are privileged to introduce Optum Labs in partnership with Mayo Clinic, which has been improving health outcomes for 150 years by continually researching, discovering and doing what’s best for the patient,” said Larry Renfro, chief executive officer of Optum. “Mayo Clinic and Optum are bringing together the best clinical insight, health information and research expertise to drive innovation that works for care providers and the patients they serve. We also welcome and look forward to the perspectives, ideas and contributions of future participants from across the health care system who share the goal of creating a better future for patient care.”

Making a difference in the lives of patients

With the combined insights of Optum, Mayo and other partners, Optum Labs will be able to support patient care improvements in many areas, such as:

  • finding optimal treatments for conditions in a given setting;
  • understanding variations in care; and
  • examining the effectiveness of patient care programs and approaches

Using the rich data and other resources of Optum Labs, scientists will address a broad range of opportunities to improve care for patients. 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 the Mayo Clinic's robust clinical insight with Optum’s extensive claims information, we will be able to better understand health care delivery over time, compare the effectiveness of care we provide today, and analyze the total cost of care for specific procedures or diseases,” said Veronique Roger, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. “This will help provide better care to patients, and help the health care industry better define value through outcomes instead of volumes.”

“Bringing together in one location health information and insights from many contributors can provide a deeper understanding of important trends and patient care issues that no single organization could achieve on its own,” said Andy Slavitt, group executive vice president of Optum. “At Optum Labs, we have the opportunity to generate insights and develop practical innovations that care providers, life sciences companies and government agencies can begin using today to improve patient care.”

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. The organization focuses a team of experts on one patient at a time, as it has for nearly 150 years. Its proven model of care makes Mayo Clinic a trusted leader in advancing medicine and solving complex problems.

About Optum
Optum (www.optum.com) is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. Optum comprises three companies – OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx – representing over 35,000 employees worldwide who collaborate to deliver integrated, intelligent solutions that work to modernize the health system and improve overall population health.

Contacts:

Mayo Clinic
Karl Oestreich, 507-284-5005
newsbureau@mayo.edu
or
Optum
Jeffrey Smith, 773-907-0860
jeffrey.p.smith@optum.com
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