UnitedHealthcare to Double ACO Contracts to $50 Billion by 2017 | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

UnitedHealthcare to Double ACO Contracts to $50 Billion by 2017

July 11, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

UnitedHealthcare, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based health insurer, has announced that it expects to more than double its number of accountable care health plan contracts in the next five years.

Already more than $20 billion of UnitedHealthcare's reimbursements to hospitals, physicians and ancillary care providers are paid through contracts that link a portion of the reimbursement to quality and cost-efficiency measures. UnitedHealthcare expects that number to increase to $50 billion by 2017 as more care providers join the transition to accountable care contracts that reward quality and value-based health care.

UnitedHealthcare currently has accountable care relationships with more than 575 hospitals, 1,100 medical groups, and 75,000 physicians across the country.

"We are improving health outcomes for patients at lower costs by moving even more broadly to value-based payment models and integrating those with our care provider network, product and clinical strategies," Austin Pittman, president, UnitedHealthcare Networks, said in a statement.

UnitedHealthcare's ACO strategy includes three categories of programs that offer varying levels of integration with care providers depending on their ability to assume financial risk and affect health outcomes. The level of shared accountability and financial risk between UnitedHealthcare and care providers increases with each of the three programs:

  • Performance-based programs—may include bonus-based incentives for primary care practices, or performance-based contracts with hospitals, physicians and ancillary care providers that reward them for successfully improving patient health outcomes and lowering costs.
  • Centers of Excellence programs—reimbursements are bundled for specific treatments and/or procedures (e.g., organ transplants) rather than charging for each visit or drug administered.
  • Accountable care programs—ACOs and patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) are among the most common. In these programs, both the health plan and care provider share in the risk and savings associated with managing patients' health.
Topics

News

NewYork-Presbyterian, Walgreens Partner on Telemedicine Initiative

NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to bring expanded access to NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare through new telemedicine services, the two organizations announced this week.

ONC Releases Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed a framework to help health systems, large practices, health information exchanges and payers to improve their patient demographic data quality.

AMIA, Pew Urge Congress to Ensure ONC has Funding to Implement Cures Provisions

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) have sent a letter to congressional appropriators urging them to ensure that ONC has adequate funding to implement certain 21st Century Cures Act provisions.

Former Michigan Governor to Serve as Chair of DRIVE Health

Former Michigan Governor John Engler will serve as chair of the DRIVE Health Initiative, a campaign aimed at accelerating the U.S. health system's transition to value-based care.

NJ Medical Group Launches Statewide HIE, OneHealth New Jersey

The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) recently launched OneHealth New Jersey, a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that is now live.

Survey: 70% of Providers Using Off-Premises Computing for Some Applications

A survey conducted by KLAS Research found that 70 percent of healthcare organizations have moved at least some applications or IT infrastructure off-premises.