When Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW) went looking for a solution to augment its genetic services, Genome Medical checked all the boxes. It was a smaller, nimble company that offered a new, efficient mode of service delivery while still maintaining a commitment to patients that intrinsically aligned with KPNW’s own mission.
A partnership between a large enterprise health organization and an earlier stage company can often be fraught with challenges -- but not these partners. At an event hosted by Kaiser Permanente Ventures and StartUp Health in December 2019, Christi Roberts of Northwest Permanente and Lisa Alderson of Genome Medical shared perspectives on what makes the working relationship so successful.
“Genome Medical went beyond just taking care of patients,” said Roberts, the senior practice director who shepherded the partnership and implementation, which happened just six weeks after a contract was signed. “They went further to help us understand where the future is going in genetics.
“Every question that we had, every challenge that we faced, Genome Medical was able to come back to us and say, ‘Let's figure that out. We're going to work together, we're going to be able to grow together to take care of not only the patients you have now, but also the patients you have next year and the year after.’”
While the alignment on mission was critical, the achievement of agreed-upon milestones is how all parties to a partnership will ultimately measure success -- and here too Genome Medical exceeded Roberts’ expectations.
“The thing that Genome Medical does better than anyone else I’ve heard of is actually getting that appointment,” Roberts said. “We asked for a higher level of care, and Genome Medical said, ‘Yes, we can do that.’ Not only are they reaching out to the member within 48 hours, but they’re also seeing the patient within one to two weeks, depending on acuity. It’s not uncommon in many places across the country for a patient to wait six months to get a genetic counseling appointment.”
Read the full write-up of the December event -- from StartUp Health or listen to the full podcast of the event below: