Strive Health Becomes Largest Non-Dialysis Company to Participate in Innovative New Payment Model

260 nephrology providers join Strive in new Medicare kidney care program

DENVER--()--Strive Health, the national leader in value-based kidney care, has partnered with 260 nephrology providers in five states to participate in Medicare’s newly launched Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) model. The nephrologists joining forces with Strive are from 27 different provider groups, representing approximately 8,200 patients assigned to the model and nearly $600 million in medical spend, which makes Strive the largest non-dialysis participant in the model.1

“Strive Health is on the front lines of transforming a broken kidney care delivery system,” said Chris Riopelle, CEO and co-founder of Strive Health. “The new CKCC model acknowledges that business-as-usual isn’t working and rewards nephrologists for delivering high-quality care that can not only save money but also improve long-term outcomes.”

CKCC is a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation payment model that is designed to reduce Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care provided to beneficiaries with late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage kidney disease (ESKD). CKCC places nephrologists in the center of the care model and incentivizes providers to delay the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure. ESKD accounts for over 7% of Medicare spending, but only 1% of Medicare beneficiaries have ESKD.

To participate in the CKCC model, Strive Health and its nephrology partners have formed Kidney Contracting Entities (KCEs) in five states which take responsibility for the total cost and quality of care for their patients and, in exchange, receive a portion of the Medicare savings they achieve. The company will manage the entities, providing nephrologists with a unique array of resources designed to help ensure their success in the model.

Strive spent the past three years developing capabilities that were then customized for each partner practice during an in-depth, six-month implementation process. Participating nephrologists receive access to data and technology resources, administrative support, management expertise and an interdisciplinary clinical care team that includes care coordinators, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists and licensed clinical social workers who serve as an extension of the nephrologist’s office and help manage comorbidities that can impact a patient’s overall health.

These providers — known as Kidney HeroesTM — use Strive’s proprietary technology platform, which gathers data from hundreds of sources, to gain a holistic view of the patient’s experience. That information can help paint a picture about the risk of hospitalization or progression of disease, helping nephrologists better manage care to each individual’s needs. For patients, this is a seamless part of their nephrology care experience. Strive recently unveiled Strive Care Partners™, which is the company’s dedicated platform enabling nephrologists to share and succeed in risk contracts such as CKCC.

“Strive Health is distinct in that it brings kidney expertise along with leading technology and innovative clinical resources designed specifically for nephrologists,” said Dr. Manish Tanna, a nephrologist and head of value-based care with Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois and Indiana. “We believe that Strive is the most patient-focused company in this space and its model will help us elevate the way we practice medicine and succeed in innovative payment programs.”

Through partnerships with nephrologists and direct care arrangements, Strive Health manages 44,000 complex CKD and ESKD patients. The company’s innovative approach to value-based kidney care has yielded strong results, with a 36% reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions;2 a 49% reduction in hospitalizations among the highest-risk patients;3 and a 67% increase in optimal starts of renal replacement therapy,4 which can improve patient experience and survival rates.

“Strive has built its model around the belief that physician-led organizations greatly outperform others in value-based care, and the launch of CKCC shows that Medicare is interested in putting nephrologists in the driver’s seat of new payment models,” said Ben Kuhn, Senior Vice President of Provider Solutions at Strive Health. “This signals an evolution in kidney care delivery, and we expect commercial payors to pay close attention to the uptake and success of these new models.”

Strive will operate KCEs in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and New York in 2022, with plans to launch KCEs in several other states in the future. The company is also actively launching new kidney care arrangements with commercial payers, health systems and medical groups. In January 2022, Strive announced a multi-state partnership with Regence health plans, in which the company is managing 16,000 members with CKD and ESKD in the Pacific Northwest.

The statements contained in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this document.


Strive Health is the nation’s leader in value-based kidney care and partner of choice for innovative healthcare payors and providers. Strive's core solutions include Population Health, Strive Care Partners™ (a value-based nephrology platform) and Complete Dialysis. Using a unique combination of high-touch care teams, predictive analytics, advanced technology, seamless integration with local providers and next-generation dialysis services, Strive forms an integrated care delivery system that supports the entire patient journey from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Strive partners with commercial and Medicare Advantage payors, Medicare, health systems and physicians through flexible value-based payment arrangements, including risk-based programs. Backed by New Enterprise Associates, Alphabet’s CapitalG, Redpoint, Town Hall Ventures, Echo Health Ventures and Ascension Ventures, Strive delivers compassionate kidney care the way it should be done. For more information, visit Twitter, LinkedIn or, or email

  1. The statements contained in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this document.
  2. Compares the 30-day hospital readmission rate for patients enrolled in a Strive health system ACO program to a three-year historical benchmark.
  3. Compares the all-cause hospitalization rate for Complex patients who are engaged in the Strive program to a historical benchmark. “Complex” is the highest-risk tier in Strive’s composite risk scoring model, which uses factors such as the Charlson Comorbidity Index, CDC Social Vulnerability Index and prior hospital visits.
  4. Compares the rate of optimal starts for patients enrolled in the Strive program to that of unenrolled patients. Optimal starts is defined as a planned start of renal replacement therapy by receiving a preemptive kidney transplant, initiating home dialysis or initiating in-center hemodialysis via AVF or AVG.



Nicole Leatherman
Strive Health Communications

Release Summary

Strive Health partners with 260 nephrologists on innovative value based Medicare kidney care program aimed at improving outcomes and reducing costs.

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Nicole Leatherman
Strive Health Communications