Medtronic and ChristianaCare announced Dec. 16 a collaboration designed to improve outcomes for ChristianaCare patients in Delaware and the surrounding region.

The five-year agreement will focus on developing and deploying value-based health care initiatives to help ChristianaCare apply the right medical technologies and therapies to patients who may benefit most, with shared financial accountability between ChristianaCare and Medtronic to improve patient outcomes while reducing the cost of care.

“There’s general consensus that a fee-for-service system is not sustainable, and a value-based system is the way to go, but ‘how’ becomes a question,” said Omar Ishrak, chairman and CEO of Medtronic. “We want to take that on, but transformation can only happen through collaboration with others with aligned views and aligned reward mechanisms. ChristianaCare’s shared commitment to developing value-based health care initiatives makes them an ideal partner for Medtronic.”

“We are committed to delivering health — not just health care — to the people we serve,” said Janice E. Nevin, president and CEO of ChristianaCare. “Value-based care is the key to achieving optimal health and an exceptional experience for the people we serve, while ensuring that care is accessible and affordable.”

One of the first initiatives is expected to address opioid-induced ventilatory impairment, which occurs when opioids used for pain management inhibit the central drive to breathe and may cause the patient to stop breathing completely unless clinicians intervene with life-saving measures. Medtronic and ChristianaCare seek to standardize an enhanced respiratory monitoring initiative to help address OIVI. This initiative will be designed to identify patients receiving opioids for pain management who are at high risk for OIVI and apply continuous monitoring technology to track breathing, and help alert the care team to abnormal trends.

Other initiatives are expected to address heart failure and diabetes, which together affect more than 35 million people in the U.S. and cost the nation an estimated $357 billion each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This work is designed to enhance ChristianaCare’s ability to prevent or slow disease progression, reduce hospitalizations and lower overall cost of care for patients with these chronic conditions.

Learnings from this collaboration have the potential to impact health beyond the Delaware region. Delaware’s demographics and ChristianaCare’s diverse patient population across a broad spectrum of health care settings create an ideal test ground for the organizations to develop and scale new value-based initiatives that could benefit the health of patient populations across the country.

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