Mayo CEO Speaks at NPC

Dr. John H. Noseworthy, President and CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota remarked at the National Press Club, “Putting knowledge into practice quickly will create value that will benefit patients and produce high quality care at lower cost”. He realizes the Mayo Clinic and others need to obtain knowledge on what works and best practice protocols. Dr. Noseworthy said, “Healthcare must be data driven”. One of the best ways for the clinic to obtain complete information on patients is to use Mayo’s large EMR system. One of the most important achievements for Mayo was to collaborate with the Omsted Medical Center and the Rochester Family Medicine Clinic to form the Rochester Epidemiology Project funded by NIH.

The Project enables medical data to be shared with many providers in Southeastern MN. This collaboration and sharing of medical information makes Southeastern MN one of the few places in the U.S where population-based research can be accomplished.

To help physicians, the Mayo Clinic Care Network, is a rapidly growing non-owned affiliate practice network. The Network identifies high quality practices across the country and internationally to enable the sharing of common patient-centered values and to use the knowledge at Mayo to communicate electronically to other practices. So far, fifteen healthcare organizations have joined the network since 2011 and Mayo expects the number to double in the next 18 months.

Also, the network developed a tool called “Ask Mayo Expert” which is a web-based information system that enables doctors to connect with expert clinical information on hundreds of medical conditions 24/7.

In 2011, Mayo Clinic joined with other health systems to securely exchange electronic health data through what is called the “Care Connectivity Consortium”. The goal is to bring together the latest technology and information to deliver patient-centered high value healthcare.

The Consortium started with not only the Mayo Clinic but also Intermountain Healthcare, Group Health Cooperative, Geisinger Health System, and Kaiser Permanente. The five member organizations believe that achieving electronic health information interoperability and connectivity is a critical step in becoming an information-enabled healthcare system. 

In another collaborative venture, Mayo Clinic and Optum Labs a subsidiary of United Health Group formed an Alliance and have access to clinical data and health outcomes on over five million Mayo Clinic patients plus cost figures on Optum’s 109 million patients. As Dr. Noseworthy said, “The potential for this open learning innovation lab is extraordinary and the lab will be even more valuable as others join the Alliance.”

The Mayo Clinic has other partners in place to speed discovery and is working with colleagues in the Netherlands to improve quality of life in the aging population and working with the European Union and Czech government on a project with St. Anne’s Hospital in Brno to develop a new International Clinical Research Center. Mayo is also working with startups like Rock Health, progressive insurers like Kaiser Permanente, and colleagues at other academic medical centers such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins.

In closing, Dr. Noseworthy summed up today’s health payment situation today, “Our health payment must include incentives and rewards for the treatment of patients”. He said, “If the Sustainable Growth Rate or the SGR affecting care given to Medicare patients is not repealed, many physicians would be affected. It is hoped that Congress will act this year to repeal the SGR.”

He continued to comment, “If Congress doesn’t tackle the SGR, Mayo Clinic alone will see $128 million in reduced funding in the first year that would have been used to treat Mayo’s Medicare patients. The real issue is that the SGR does not effectively control the volume of physician services and while some doctors offer high quality care and others provide unnecessary tests.”

Dr. Noseworthy wants to not only see the SGR repealed, but he wants to see a one to three year transitional reimbursement system created at the consumer price index. He also wants to see new negotiated payment models established that would tie reimbursement to patient-centered care along with quality outcomes.

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