In a recent publication of The MedTech Strategist, Suzanne Winter, Americas Region VP for Medtronic Diabetes, discusses our approach to #valuebasedhealthcare — and how we’re leveraging #VBHC to transform diabetes care. Read a short excerpt from the article below:
The Medtech Strategist (MTS): Value-based care is a relatively new concept/business model in diabetes management and it means different things to different people. How does Medtronic define value-based care in this context? 
Suzanne Winter: From our standpoint, we’re trying to look at value as defined as the outcome that is meaningful to patients over the relative cost. And in diabetes, so much of what we do is direct to the patient. So, the programs we are developing are aimed at improving outcomes that are meaningful to patients through the use of our devices and our solutions, while at the same time lowering the cost, or at a minimum, keeping the cost the same. From a strategy standpoint — and this is really the charter of Omar Ishrak, our CEO — we’re trying to move from a fee-for-service model for our products and solutions and really drive business models that tie us to that value, just as we’ve defined it, and have our remuneration tied to that value. And so, it’s a journey.
MTS: What are some of the specific initiatives that Medtronic has in place, or in the pipeline, to address the move toward value-based care in diabetes?
Suzanne Winter: If we look at diabetes, of course it’s not a homogeneous patient population. So, we have the Type 1 patient population, which has a very high burden of care. They are required to constantly make decisions and have a really good understanding of what they eat, when they eat, and how much they exercise because all of these things play into their glucose levels. It’s also a patient segment that has high-cost hospitalization if admitted due to a diabetes-related complication. So, for the Type 1 patient population, we’re developing products and solutions that will improve the management of their diabetes and improve their quality of life. And one of those products that we have just introduced is our MiniMed™ 670G [insulin delivery system]. It’s a hybrid closed loop system that combines an insulin pump with our Guardian Sensor 3 continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and features our most advanced algorithm — SmartGuard™ technology — that enables automated basal insulin delivery based on real-time glucose levels. This increased automation allows the patient to think less about their diabetes management on a day-to-day basis, reducing their disease burden. It has really improved quality metrics and increased patient satisfaction and quality of life.
We’re working closely with payors to make sure that we have as much in place as possible to facilitate patient access to this type of technology. In fact, we have worked out risk-sharing partnerships with some of the biggest payors to help allow patients to get onto this best-in-class therapy. In these partnerships, we have tied a portion of our contracts with the payors to improved A1C levels and also to total cost of care. We have agreements in place with the two of the biggest insurers — UnitedHealthcare and Aetna — but we have conversations ongoing with a number of different payors. Our goal is to get all stakeholders aligned to driving decisions that will put the diabetes patient first.
To read the full article, visit Diabetes Devices: What Can Value-Based Care Bring to the Table? A conversation with Medtronic’s Suzanne Winter .
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system requires a prescription and is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin (at user selectable rates) and administration of insulin boluses (in user selectable amounts) for the management of Type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons, fourteen years of age and older, requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed 670G System includes SmartGuard technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust delivery of basal insulin based on Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor glucose values, and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values.
The Guardian Sensor (3) is not intended to be used directly for making therapy adjustments, but rather to provide an indication of when a finger stick may be required. All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using a home glucose monitor and not on values provided by the Guardian Sensor (3).
WARNING: Medtronic performed an evaluation of the MiniMed 670G system and determined that it may not be safe for use in children under the age of 7 because of the way that the system is designed and the daily insulin requirements. Therefore this device should not be used in anyone under the age of 7 years old. This device should also not be used in patients who require less than a total daily insulin dose of 8 units per day because the device requires a minimum of 8 units per day to operate safely.
Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow recognition of pump signals and alarms. Do not use the serter on products other than the Enlite sensor or Guardian Sensor (3). Medtronic cannot guarantee the safety or efficacy of this product if used with other products. The reservoir is contraindicated for the infusion of blood or blood products.
Infusion sets are indicated for subcutaneous use only and not for intravenous (IV) infusion or the infusion of blood or blood products. Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for those who are unwilling to perform at least four blood glucose tests per day. As insulin pumps use rapid acting insulin only, BG testing is required to help identify rapid glycemic deterioration due to insulin infusion occlusion, infusion site problems, insulin stability issues, user error, or a combination of these. Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to maintain contact with their healthcare professional.
The safety of the 670G system has not been studied in people with impaired kidney function. Please let your healthcare professional know if you have kidney disease so you and your healthcare professional can determine if the potential benefits of using the system outweigh the risks. The safety of the 670G system has not been studied in pregnant women, people with type 2 diabetes, or in people using other anti-hyperglycemic therapies apart from insulin. Please let your healthcare professional know if any of these conditions apply to you so you and your healthcare professional can determine if the potential benefits of using the system outweigh the risks.
For complete safety information, please consult the appropriate User Guide.