|By Christopher Snowbeck, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But now, amid more examples of collaboration between insurers and health care providers across the country,
Both companies are
The research lab is near the
The lab will employ 50 to 60 people who will bring together claims data from
"This partnership between two
One barrier to doing such research, officials said, has been that patient information tended to be gathered in two distinct areas -- the claims data collected by health insurers and the clinical data stored by doctors and hospitals. The new research center will bring together those two data sets so that doctors can better understand the total cost of care for patients, said Dr.
"We believe that patients should expect more out of U.S. health care -- both higher quality, but also affordability," Noseworthy said. "This strategic research alliance allows us, for the first time, to truly examine best outcomes for patients at lower cost."
All patient data used by researchers in the lab will be stripped of identifying information to preserve confidentiality, Slavitt said. Optum will contribute data from more than 100 million patients who received care over a 20-year period; Mayo will contribute 5 million clinical records spanning a 15-year period.
"Optum and Mayo can't do this alone," Noseworthy said. "We'll be interested in asking other health care organizations ... to join this effort."
In the past, both groups have independently talked about working to define "best practices" for medical care, said