WVU Medicine Joins Interwell Network to Address Kidney Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia has the highest mortality rate in the country for people living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). To address the issue head-on, WVU Medicine has signed an agreement with Interwell Health with the goal of improving care for patients with kidney disease.

The 21-hospital West Virginia University Health System, operating under the WVU Medicine brand, is West Virginia’s largest health system and the state’s largest employer with more than 3,000 licensed beds, approximately 4,000 providers 30,000 employees and more than $5 billion in total. operating income.

Interwell’s provider network now exceeds 1,800 nephrologists in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The company supports 125,000 patients in value-based care arrangements with private payers and the government. It contracts with payers in value-based agreements, partnering with physicians to improve the health of their patients while seeking to reduce the total cost of care. WVU Medicine nephrologists will join the Interwell network and implement its population health approach to kidney care.

“This partnership with Interwell opens the door to better care for our patients,” Rebecca Schmidt, DO, nephrologist at WVU Medicine, said in a statement. “By approaching kidney disease from a population health perspective, we can use machine learning and other technologies to examine disease progression and use that data to implement more effective treatment plans. “We understand that progress cannot occur in a vacuum, and Interwell presents the opportunity to collaborate with others on best practices and use this collaboration to help improve the lives of West Virginia kidney disease patients.”

Interwell Health was formed in 2022 through the merger of Fresenius Health Partners, the value-based care division of Fresenius Medical Care North America, with Cricket Health and Interwell Health, a network of nephrologists. Since then, its network has grown to include more than 1,800 nephrologists. In January 2024, Healthcare Innovation interviewed George Hart, MD, chief medical officer at Interwell, and Carney Taylor, MD, MBA, who runs Eastern Nephrology Associates, a practice with 32 nephrologists in eastern North Carolina and has experience in transition your practice to a values-based practice. careful.

Interwell’s care team includes nurses, dieticians, social workers and care coordinators who support and educate patients between doctor visits to help slow the progression of the disease. Its predictive models identify patients at highest risk for progression and hospitalizations, while a specialized care team conducts rapid post-discharge outreach to prevent readmissions.

“We are thrilled to welcome this leading group of WVU Medicine nephrologists to our network and our mission to reinvent kidney care,” Terry Ketchersid, MD, MBA, senior vice president of Interwell Health, said in a statement. “We are committed to supporting our provider partners with resources that have demonstrated improved outcomes for people living with chronic kidney disease.”

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