At Highmark Health, we are focused on fundamentally transforming care delivery for our customers. As one of the largest integrated delivery and financing systems, which serves over 35 million customers a year, we are poised to drive innovation and discover new interventions that will improve the experience, access, outcomes, and affordability of health care. Effective deployment of new solutions could drive better care at lower cost.
Without support from commercial payers, it is difficult for innovations to influence the practice of medicine. VITAL provides a test bed designed to facilitate early use of interventions that have demonstrated safety and efficacy and have received regulatory approval, but are not yet covered by most commercial insurers. VITAL is designed to provide the missing link between regulatory approval of an innovative intervention and its full reimbursement.
We are seeking novel interventions that have received regulatory approval (eg. FDA) that lack sufficient scientific data to convince commercial insurers to pay for them. To support a comprehensive, rigorous and patient-centered approach to innovation, VITAL welcomes proposals submitted by Allegheny Health Network (AHN) clinicians in collaboration with external innovators such as partners from industry, not-for-profit sector, government and other aligned providers.
The VITAL Mission
VITAL is designed to transform care delivery by accelerating the pace with which novel interventions and services are made available to our customers.
Participants will be afforded access to safe new interventions without undue financial burden.
Clinicians will have the opportunity to test novel interventions to gain a first-hand understanding on cost savings and the impact on quality of care.
Payers will be able to understand the full impact of new interventions on their members to inform changes to reimbursement methodologies.
Industry partners will have the opportunity to prove the benefits of their new innovations to participants, clinicians, and payers.
VITAL Bridges the Gap from Medical Innovation to Covered Therapy
Getting new medical therapies to more people who need them is the purpose of Highmark Health’s VITAL Innovation Program (Verification of Innovation by Testing, Analysis and Learning.)
Managing GERD with LINX
VITAL is currently supporting the testing and validation of several leading-edge medical breakthroughs at Allegheny Health Network and other hospitals, including the LINX device, a new minimally-invasive method to control severe acid reflux and avoid esophageal cancer and other diseases.
LINX is a ring of tiny magnetic titanium beads that restores the stomach's natural acid barrier. LINX Is surgically placed around the area where the stomach and esophagus meet. Once in place, it:
- Opens up to let in food and liquids when patients swallow
- Quickly closes to keep stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus and causing heartburn.
After the surgery, patients can eat normally within an hour and no special diet is required. Over 90 percent of patients no longer need daily medications for reflux.
Giving patients the medical breakthroughs of tomorrow, today, is living proof.
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