While medicine has identified nearly 10,000 diseases, there currently are treatments or cures for only 500 of them. The number of patients waiting for cures is also high –currently one in three Americans live with a debilitating condition – but it takes 20–25 years to bring a new therapy to market, let alone to patients.
As a result. healthcare’s challenge is two-fold: how to best accelerate innovation to combat disease while also deploying these new ideas to drive toward a lower overall healthcare cost.
VITAL’s mission at Highmark Health is to the leverage our position as one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery and financing systems in the nation to accelerate the pace with which novel technologies and services are made available to our patients.
In doing so:
The VITAL innovation program at Highmark Health is a test bed designed to facilitate early use of technologies that have received regulatory approval.
While these technologies are being used for their intended purpose, within the approved patient population, most commercial insurers typically do not yet cover them. VITAL is designed to provide the missing link between FDA approval of an innovative technology and its full reimbursement.
To support a comprehensive, rigorous and patient-centered approach to innovation, the VITAL innovation program encourages proposals submitted by Allegheny Health Network clinicians in collaboration with external innovators such as:
Innovators have the opportunity to describe their ideas in depth to the VITAL Review Board, support them with existing knowledge, identify knowledge gaps, and submit a proposal for a pilot project or a clinical trial seeking to close those gaps.
The VITAL Committee makes a final determination based on a formal, rigorous review to cover the costs of an item or service in the context of an approved project and for the duration of that project.