U.S. healthcare groups taking a closer look at medical implants

medical research

A quartet of U.S. healthcare groups are teaming up to take a closer look at the long-term effectiveness of medical implants, launching independent clinical studies in order to evaluate devices and their outcomes for patients, the group announced this week.

Comprised of 3 large U.S. health systems and one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies, the consortium plans to conduct independent, long-term studies on "everything from heart problems to bad knees and hips," according to a press release.

The new coalition, dubbed SharedClarity, is comprised of UnitedHealth, Baylor Health Care System, Dignity Health, and Advocate Health Care. The group plans to add more members in coming months, according to the report.

"We have a responsibility as providers and insurers to deliver the highest quality, most affordable care possible," Dignity Health strategic innovation vice president Richard Roth said in prepared remarks. "In joining together to form SharedClarity we are building a platform that will give doctors, hospitals, and insurers the information we need to make evidence-based decisions about the care we are providing."

Together the member companies represent about 100,000 employees and care for around 7 million patients per year at more than 850 sites in the U.S.

SharedClarity aims to use the studies to assess which devices are best for which patients and to leverage its membership to negotiate purchasing contracts with manufacturers.

The research will be monitored by physicians from each of the member organizations with the goal of identifying how best to improve patient outcomes in regard to medical implants.

"Independent research on the long-term performance of these widely used medical devices will help each of our health systems improve care and result in better patient outcomes," Advocate Health Care chief medical officer and executive VP Dr. Lee Sacks said in a prepared statement. "SharedClarity will provide a comprehensive view of how these medical devices perform after being inserted into patients, using an unprecedented amount of data. It’s crucial information that will benefit patients and improve the quality of care."

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