Fresenius Health Partners, a value-based contracting division of the German medtech company, InterWell Health, a kidney care physician organization, and Cricket Health, a technology company that offers a kidney care patient engagement and data platform, are creating an independent entity that will use digital tools and value-based care to serve patients with chronic kidney disease, the firms announced Monday.
Here are five things to know:
- The new, independent venture will take on the InterWell Health name. The original InterWell Health started in 2019 as a partnership between nephrologists and its 1,600-physician network will move to the new organization.
- InterWell Health has an initial value of $2.4 billion with an addressable market of $170 billion, more than $6 billion in medical costs under management and more than 100,000 covered lives, according to the founding companies. The partners aim to reach 270,000 kidney disease patients by 2025. Robert Sepucha will be chief executive officer, David Pollack will be president and chief operating officer, and Dr. George Hart will be chief medical officer. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe’s Valtruis, Oak HC/FT, Cigna Ventures and Blue Shield of California are among the investors.
- Cricket Health’s machine learning and predictive glomerular filtration rate (GFR) technologies will be used to identify patients at risk of kidney failure. This platform will help clinicians slow disease progression and give patients time to choose treatment options, according to the companies. Cricket Health secured $83.5 million in series B funding in August and has partnered with health insurers including Cigna, Clover Health and Blue Shield of California.
- Kidney care has become a popular target for digital health disruption by tech companies, payers and providers. Digital-focused kidney care companies such as Somatus Health, Monogram Health and Strive Health have attracted significant investments in the past year. Hemodialysis costs Medicare an average of $90,000 per patient annually, according to research by the University of California, San Francisco. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 70% of the 750,000 U.S. residents with kidney disease require regular dialysis treatment.
- Fresenius Medical Care, which treats approximately 345,000 renal disease patients every year at its 4,151 dialysis clinics, recently restructured its management as part of a process to create a global care delivery segment. The company has partnered with Cigna, Aetna and other insurers in an effort to shift toward more value-based agreements. The company launched a connected health hub in North America in 2019.
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