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Seton Health Alliance, UnitedHealthcare Form First Commercial ACO in Central Texas

July 2, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Seton Health Alliance (SHA), Central Texas' first accountable care organization (ACO), and UnitedHealthcare are collaborating to provide coordinated health care to Central Texas residents enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's employer-sponsored health plans.

This ACO model will help shift the Central Texas' healthcare system from one based on volume of patients to one that rewards quality and value. The collaboration will leverage the resources of Seton Healthcare Family, Austin Regional Clinic, Lone Star Circle of Care and community physicians to manage all aspects of patients' healthcare and provide them with the right care in the right place at the right time. This will be the first commercial ACO program in Central Texas.

UnitedHealthcare— serving more than 3.8 million Texas residents with a care provider network of more than 500 hospitals and 50,000 physicians statewide— plan participants who currently receive care from Seton Health Alliance care providers do not have to do anything differently to receive ACO benefits, which include enhanced care coordination and follow-up. Primary care physicians in the ACO will receive monthly updates on their patients, enabling them to monitor all of the care each patient is receiving, and to maintain all clinical information about each patient in a secure, single electronic medical record (EMR).

SHA care providers will be eligible for payment incentives based on meaningful improvements in measures such as readmission rates, disease management and prevention, patient safety, and care delivery.

The new ACO collaboration will help participating physicians and Seton hospitals improve transitions of care for patients and facilitate better communication with other medical providers involved in a patient's treatment, SHA officials say.



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