How Medela’s Business Model Innovates NPWT Care

Learn why one CIO advocated switching to Medela

October 2021 – The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

Dr. Jean Wright is the former Chief Innovation Officer at Atrium Health, a 10,000+ bed integrated delivery network serving North Carolina and Georgia. She and her cross-disciplinary, “Innovation Engine” team members conducted rigorous evaluations of new products and technologies that have the potential to optimize care across the network. They recommended a network-wide switch to Medela Invia® Liberty™ and Invia Motion® NPWT pumps. Here’s why.

“I’m intrigued by how Medela is applying business model innovation to Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) care. I think it’s the only way to get cost out of the current care delivery system, which is under heightened scrutiny in a time of COVID-19-related financial losses.”

– Dr. Jean Wright, MD MBA, retired VP, CIO, Atrium

The ultimate combination

After a thorough and inclusive evaluation process, Dr. Wright’s team concluded that Medela NPWT pumps offer a critical combination of optimized clinical outcomes and significant cost savings. First and foremost, the Medela NPWT systems must deliver excellent clinical performance. The committee review found the systems to be proven and versatile, offering clinical flexibility with choice of pressure settings and therapy modes. Beyond clinical performance, the review team found value in Medela’s unique risk-share business model, which eliminates daily NPWT device rental fees in favor of a predictable fixed annual rate, paid monthly.

Dr. Wright’s team identified 3 key advantages to the model:

  • Estimated 50% savings by eliminating unforeseen overhead costs
  • Easy inventory management – no specialized reprocessing of pumps
  • Workflow improvements – no need to track device usage

“After learning about Medela’s capitated rate business model, it will be inevitable for others to switch to a model like this. Medela has always been known for high-quality negative pressure devices. The differentiator, and the disruptor, is the novel business model of capitating your costs. If you don’t know your costs, you can’t cut your costs. Medela has made the cost equation transparent to the buyer.”

– Dr. Jean Wright, MD MBA

In Dr. Wright’s words, “When a company offers you a high-quality proposition with demonstrated outcomes that can cut up to half your costs in an area of care, you have to do something.”

After years of evaluating disruptive innovation, Dr. Wright knows a capitated rate business model like Medela’s is the wave of the future.

Learn more at

1 Ellison A. US hospitals losing $1.4B in revenue per day. Becker’s Hospital Review. May 4, 2020. Available at Medela wordmark and logo, Invia and Invia Motion are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Liberty is a trademark of Medela.

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