Fast-growing health insurer Centene said it will contribute $100 million over the next decade to a partnership with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to “accelerate research into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, diabetes and obesity.”
Centene, which is based in St. Louis, last month announced plans to buy WellCare Health Plans for more than $15 billion. Centene is best known for administering Medicaid benefits for states and selling individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act. In partnering with Washington University, executives said Monday the funding will “will galvanize the School of Medicine’s Personalized Medicine Initiative.”
Meanwhile, Centene said it will benefit as a health insurer emphasizing a value-based approach to getting patients the right treatment, in the right place and at the right time. “We believe personalized medicine is the path to ensure patients get the targeted health care they need to fight disease, and we look forward to partnering with such a renowned medical school to initially focus on four diseases that impact millions of Americans, including many of our health plan members,” Centene CEO Michael Neidorff said in announcing the partnership.
Increasingly, health insurers are spending more on research and development to mine health claim data and work with universities and startups to get their health plan subscribers more targeted therapies and treatments in hopes of improving health quality and outcomes while reducing costs.
Washington University said the investment will leverage the medical school’s existing research and biomedical capabilities such as s CRISPR and the school’s scientists who work in an array areas including cancer genomics, neurodegeneration, cellular reprogramming, chemical biology and informatics.
“We will be bringing together world-class resources and intellectual horsepower from every basic and clinical scientific discipline to urgently accelerate the timeline for developing therapies that are more precisely targeted, with aspirations to do so in the next five to seven years,” Dr. David H. Perlmutter, the university’s executive vice chancellor for medical affairs said in a statement Monday.
Date: April 11, 2019