Eight Nephrology Practices Partner with Strive Health and SSM Health to Improve Kidney Care for St. Louis Area Medicare Patients

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March 8, 2022

DENVER March 8, 2022 — A group of eight independent nephrology practices has launched a partnership with Strive Health and SSM Health to deliver higher-quality, cost-effective kidney care to Medicare beneficiaries in the greater St. Louis area. The physicians have joined Strive and SSM Health in a new value-based contracting arrangement to help patients preserve kidney function and delay the progression of kidney disease. 

Under the partnership, the nephrology groups, along with Strive and SSM Health, take responsibility for the total cost and quality of care for their patients and, in exchange, receive a portion of the savings they achieve. The eight practices represent 38 nephrologists and more than 1,300 St. Louis area patients with chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney disease who will immediately benefit from the model. 

“Delivering kidney care through the old fee-for-service model is simply unsustainable. The best way to improve outcomes and reduce costs is to take a more comprehensive approach, aligning with partners like Strive and SSM Health, who provide essential resources and infrastructure,” said Dr. Gary Singer, a nephrologist with Midwest Nephrology Associates in St. Louis.

Strive, the national leader in value-based kidney care, and SSM Health, a leading health system known for delivering high-quality, community-based care, provide the nephrologists with innovative technological, operational and administrative support. In 2020, Strive and SSM Health formed a joint venture to establish specialized care programs for patients with kidney disease. 

These programs typically provide patients with support from an interdisciplinary clinical care team of nurse practitioners, care coordinators, dietitians, pharmacists and licensed clinical social workers. These team members serve as an extension of the nephrologist’s office and help manage comorbidities, such as diabetes, that can impact a patient’s overall health. For patients, this support is a seamless part of their nephrology care experience.

Through the partnership, nephrologists also gain access to a machine learning technology platform developed by Strive, which gathers and analyzes data from hundreds of sources to offer a holistic view of each patient’s journey. That data can help paint a picture about the risk of hospitalization or progression of disease, helping nephrologists better manage care to each individual’s needs.

“All patients deserve exceptional care that is accessible and affordable,” said Grady Brimley, SSM Health’s Vice President of Health Transformation. “This arrangement helps ensure more of the people in our communities can benefit from the personalized care that is available to all our kidney-care patients.”

The CDC estimates that kidney disease affects 37 million adults or 15% of U.S. adults, including more than 38% of those over 65 years old. Kidney disease drives $410 billion of unmanaged annual medical spend, prompting Medicare to launch value-based payments models that are focused on preventing the disease from advancing and delaying dialysis. End-stage kidney disease accounts for over 7% of Medicare spending, but only 1% of Medicare beneficiaries have end-stage kidney disease. 

“It’s clear that payors – both government and commercial – are no longer interested in maintaining the status quo. Providing a holistic approach to kidney care that is focused on early detection and education will allow us to transform a broken system,” said Matt Clausen, a vice president with Strive Health.

ABOUT STRIVE HEALTH

Strive Health is the nation’s leader in value-based kidney care and partner of choice for innovative healthcare payors and providers. Strive's core solutions include Population Health, Strive Care Partners™ (a value-based nephrology platform) and Complete Dialysis. Using a unique combination of high-touch care teams, predictive analytics, advanced technology, seamless integration with local providers and next-generation dialysis services, Strive forms an integrated care delivery system that supports the entire patient journey from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Strive partners with commercial and Medicare Advantage payors, Medicare, health systems and physicians through flexible value-based payment arrangements, including risk-based programs. Backed by New Enterprise Associates, Alphabet’s CapitalG, Redpoint, Town Hall Ventures, Echo Health Ventures and Ascension Ventures, Strive delivers compassionate kidney care the way it should be done. For more information, visit TwitterLinkedIn or StriveHealth.com, or email info@strivehealth.com

ABOUT SSM HEALTH

SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system. The organization’s nearly 40,000 employees and 11,000 providers are committed to providing exceptional health care services and revealing God’s healing presence to everyone they serve.

With care delivery sites in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, SSM Health includes 23 hospitals, more than 290 physician offices and other outpatient and virtual care services, 10 post-acute facilities, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a pharmacy benefit company, a health insurance company and an accountable care organization. It is one of the largest employers in every community it serves. For more information, visit SSMHealth.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Each of us has chosen to dedicate our time to something bigger than ourselves. We are resilient, tenacious, and strive for continuous innovation. We have fun. And we always care for others first.

“At Strive, we’re transforming kidney care. While our mission, vision, and values-based culture play critical roles in that transformation, our people (Strivers) make it happen. Strivers are delivering compassionate kidney care and creating an incredible place to work.”

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