Optum links claims and clinical data

February 1, 2013

In partnership with the Mayo Clinic, a UnitedHealthcare unit is putting data to work in a new facility to drive improved outcomes

UnitedHealthcare’s Optum unit and the 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,” says Optum’s Jeffrey Smith, director, strategic outreach, Corporate Communications.

The partnership was started by bringing together Optum’s information assets, technologies, knowledge tools and scientists in a facility located in Cambridge, Mass.   

“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 says. “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 says 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.

Examples of the work of Optum Labs scientists include measuring the best treatments for a serious blood cancer;, 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,” he says.