Baylor Forms Joint Venture to Test, Purchase Medical Devices

Baylor Health Care System is launching a joint venture to test the long-term effectiveness of medical devices with two other large U.S. health systems and one of the nation’s largest health-benefits companies.

The new venture is called SharedClarity, includes Baylor Health Care System, San Francisco-based Dignity Health, and Illinois-based Advocate Health Care, and UnitedHealthcare. The three member health systems employ about 100,000 people and care for about 7 million patients annually. UnitedHealthcare provides health benefits to more than 40 million Americans. The partners plan to add more health systems this year.

SharedClarity will seek is to improve patient outcomes by identifying the best-performing devices, such as stents, defibrillators, pacemakers, knee and hip implants, and heart valves.

SharedClarity then will select the best devices and negotiate affordable purchasing agreements with device manufacturers. U.S. hospitals across the United States spend more than $30 billion annually on the 30 most frequently used categories of devices.

“We are always looking for ways to improve quality and increase efficiencies in the care we provide,” said Dr. David Ballard, Chief Quality Officer for Baylor Health Care System in a statement.  “And we believe our patients will benefit from these studies.”

Unlike many medical device studies, the SharedClarity research will not be funded by manufacturers.