Amgen, Humana Announce "Value-Based" Collaboration

Details in the release were not extensive, but the phrase "value-based" appeared 6 times.

Two major players in the healthcare industry are announcing a partnership to target serious diseases and deliver increased value to hospital systems and patients.

Humana, the Kentucky-based insurance company, and Amgen, the California-based pharmaceutical giant, said in a statement that they have 6 projects underway or planned that range in scope from “defining the burden” of osteoporotic fractures to evaluating the usefulness of wearables for encouraging medication adherence.

Details in a joint release are sparse, but the phrase “value-based” appears 6 times. It lists cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, neurologic disorders, inflammatory diseases, and cancer among the partnership’s targets. Moreover, it emphasizes the integration of real-world evidence from wearables, apps, and Bluetooth drug-delivery devices, and indicates plans for prospective observational studies.

“Planned research will identify patients whose serious medical conditions are likely to result in an adverse patient outcome, which may lead to development of algorithms that can predict risk and drive to early intervention,” the statement read.

The two companies have extensive resources from which to draw — Humana’s insurance network includes over 13 million members, and Amgen was the 12th highest-grossing pharmaceutical company in the world in 2016.

Calling the partnership with Humana “the first of its kind” for his company, Joshua Ofman, vice president of Global Value, Access & Policy at Amgen, stressed that rising disease costs are “challenging the sustainability of our health care system,” which drives incentive for innovation and partnerships.

Laura Happe, chief pharmacy offer for Humana, pointed to the need to ease the burden put on providers by rising costs and systemic changes associated with value.

“By teaming up with Amgen we can study new ways to improve the health outcomes for our members” she said, “At the same time, we hope this research results in new tools and technology that support our provider partners who are on the journey to population health and value-based care."

The statement points to Humana’s past value-based successes, linking to a report that found in 2015, it had 20% lower costs for members who were treated by providers “in a value-based reimbursement model setting” when compared to an estimation of costs with typical fee-for-service models.