Strive Health Expands Partnership with Nation’s Largest Nephrology Group, NANI


The move is designed to improve care, lower costs for 20,000 kidney patients in Indiana and Illinois

Strive Health is expanding its relationship with Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois and Indiana (NANI) – the nation’s largest independent nephrology group – to deliver higher-quality, cost-effective kidney care to more patients. Building on its strategic partnership announced in 2021, Strive and NANI have now established a first-of-its-kind, risk-bearing platform that places the nephrologists at the center of global risk contracts with an increasing number of government and commercial payors. Additionally, the platform builds on existing technology and care infrastructure to deliver additional benefits to patients and participating providers. This expanded partnership unlocks the ability to extend care to as many as 20,000 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) throughout Illinois and Indiana.

“Our approach to kidney care has yielded compelling results, helping to delay the progression of the disease, reducing costs and improving the patient experience,” said Strive CEO and co-founder Chris Riopelle. “Given our success, it only makes sense to broaden our scope to reach more patients who we know will benefit from a value-based model.”

Together, Strive and NANI will manage the financial risk and governance of risk contracts with Medicare and Medicare Advantage plan members with CKD and ESKD. As part of the expanded partnership, NANI is increasing its equity investment in Strive. The partners have also agreed to more than double the length of their alliance to 10 years.

Strive and NANI will also conduct outcomes-oriented clinical research on the effectiveness of interventions in reducing costs in value-based contracting models. The research will help further the nephrology industry’s understanding of which interventions can improve outcomes and drive down costs and offer more insight into how new contracting arrangements, such as Medicare’s Comprehensive Kidney Care Contracting (CKCC) model, can delay the progression of kidney disease. 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 CKD and ESKD.

The CDC estimates that kidney disease affects 37 million adults or 15% of U.S. adults, including more than 38% of those over 65 years old. Kidney disease also drives $410 billion of unmanaged medical spend annually. With over 140 nephrologists in Indiana and Illinois, NANI is on the front lines of fixing the broken kidney care delivery system that often fails to address the disease holistically.

Strive offers a range of comprehensive resources to support NANI’s providers, including: a robust technology platform, administrative support, management expertise and an interdisciplinary clinical care team with care coordinators, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists and licensed clinical social workers. These team members serve as an extension of the nephrologist’s office and help manage comorbidities, such as diabetes, that can impact a patient’s overall health.

“Strive’s solution is integrated into our members’ practices, giving them the tools and infrastructure needed to succeed in a value-based contract,” said Brian O’Dea, CEO of NANI. “NANI’s mission has always been to put the patient at the center of the care model and make it as easy as possible for each patient to receive what they need to manage their condition effectively and achieve better health outcomes. Our partnership with Strive makes it possible to achieve that goal.”