Loyola Physician Partners, Strive Health Pilot CKD, ESKD Programs

Jan. 30, 2023
Strive’s Kidney Heroes interdisciplinary clinical care team serves as an extension of the patient’s physician to help manage both kidney disease and comorbid conditions, such as diabetes

Loyola Physician Partners, an Illinois-based clinically integrated regional network formed by Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is working with Denver-based Strive Health on a pilot program to slow the progression of kidney disease for its patients.

Based in Chicago’s western suburbs, Loyola Medicine includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital, a team of primary care and specialty care physicians at more than 15 Chicago-area locations and a large ambulatory network of clinics offering primary and specialty care.

Strive Health will work with Loyola Physician Partners to pilot specialized population health programs and capabilities to serve chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients in the greater Chicago area. The goal of the pilot is to deliver a new clinical care model that helps patients slow the progression of the disease and preserve their kidney function as long as possible.

For decades, kidney care has focused almost entirely on end-stage kidney disease, when a patient’s options are typically limited to dialysis or a transplant. Using predictive analytics and machine learning, Strive’s technology can gather data from various of sources to gain a holistic view of the patient’s experience. Then Strive’s Kidney Heroes interdisciplinary clinical care team including nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, care coordinators and licensed clinical social workers uses that information to gain a better understanding about the patient’s risk of hospitalization or the progression of their disease. Team members serve as an extension of the patient’s physician to help manage both kidney disease and comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, that can impact a patient’s overall health. The result, Strive says, is less frequent hospitalizations, fewer readmissions, lower costs and better outcomes.

“Loyola Physician Partners is proud to add specialized kidney care services to our population health programming, both to improve outcomes for our patients, as well as providing additional support to our providers,” said Keith Veselik, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer of population health at Loyola Medicine, in a statement.

Strive partners with commercial and Medicare Advantage payers, Medicare, health systems and physicians through value-based payment arrangements, including risk-based programs.

One overall health system goal is to identify kidney disease earlier and intervene. That means getting primary care more involved. “When you think about CKD, it's an important opportunity to bridge the gap between primary care and nephrology,” said Will Stokes, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Strive Health, in a May 2022 interview with Healthcare Innovation. “A lot of the patients who have CKD and aren't getting actively treated may have a relationship with a primary care provider. There's a big opportunity to educate those primary care physicians more directly, run analytics, and make them aware that a portion of their patients have CKD that's not being treated yet. For patients at CKD stage 3b or beyond, we can facilitate that interaction between PCP and nephrologists. Then we need nephrologists to be well incentivized and engaged in caring for those CKD patients who get referred.”

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