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New sleep leader targets reimbursement, data privacy

New sleep leader targets reimbursement, data privacy


Lucile BlaiseSAN DIEGO – As Lucile Blaise takes on a larger role at ResMed, she is prioritizing, among other things, advocating for new forms of reimbursement for digital health. 

Here’s what Blaise, who was promoted from ResMed’s vice president of Sleep & Respiratory Care for Western Europe to president of its global business this summer, had to say about why everyone wins when sleep apnea is diagnosed and treated. 

HME News: CEO Mick Farrell often talks about the progress that’s been made in Europe, in terms of covering/reimbursing for digital health telemonitoring. What was your role in helping to make that happen?  

Lucile Blaise: The Western European team has for many years worked to advocate and support new reimbursements leveraging connectivity and data. In France, for instance, through advocacy and market access initiatives, reimbursement has evolved to an outcome-based reimbursement requiring connectivity. Our customers are not only reimbursed to provide therapy, but they are incentivized on patient compliance. In Belgium, AirView is one of the first medical device web applications eligible for reimbursement. These evolutions have been made possible through intense involvement in local medtech associations and partnership with all the stakeholders, including payers.  

HME: How are you broadening your knowledge of health care markets outside Europe, particularly the U.S.?  

Blaise: The US and the Western Europe markets have some commonalities, and the first big one is our business channel. In all these markets, we serve HMEs. We call them home care providers in Europe, but they play the same role: servicing and following up with their patients. Reimbursement forms will vary from one country to the other, but in all these countries our HME customers got paid from payers to provide their services to patients. Another common point is that too many patients are undiagnosed and too many patients lose their opportunity to be treated as their care path takes too much time and is too complex. Each market has its own guidelines, reimbursement and therapy pathways. While there are some similarities across markets, it is important to go deep to understand all these specificities. 

HME: Where do you feel there is room for improvement in sleep & respiratory care in the U.S.? 

Blaise: Continuing to innovate on our technology and advocate for new forms of reimbursement like digital health are means to the ultimate end of helping millions of people who need treatment to easily access and remain on treatment– and I believe both can always improve. There are tens of millions of Americans with undiagnosed, untreated sleep apnea – so the overall health care burden and cost implications here are significant. Study after peer-reviewed study demonstrates the benefits not only of treating sleep apnea – even for as little as two hours – but also of sleep’s impacts on other facets of our overall health. Therefore, the treatment is critical for the payers themselves, not just the users whose quality of life can improve.  

HME: Your focus will also be on patient data privacy and security – why is this so important?  

Blaise: Safety, performance, reliability, usability, and data privacy and security are among ResMed’s top priorities. Data is key to helping users achieve long-term adherence, to helping HMEs optimize their patient management efficiency, and to conducting large-scale studies that teach everyone new best practices for and benefits of treatment. But collecting and distributing that data in the first place requires trust. I believe you have to earn that trust every day by helping ensure that only appropriate people can see data when the patient consents, and by being transparent with everyone about how this data is being used.


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