Health benefits company UnitedHealthcare and Dallas-based Catalyst Health Network, a clinically integrated network of primary care physicians, say their accountable care organization nearly doubled the number of annual preventive screenings for certain types of cancer and slashed North Texas healthcare spending by more than $11 million in 2016.
The ACO was established in 2015 for those enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored and individual health plans. It has since grown to include more than 450 primary care providers, following Catalyst’s recent addition of about 100 physicians from the Irving-based USMD Health System.
Catalyst said its physicians had increased cervical cancer screenings from 4,300 to 8,500 for UnitedHealthcare members annually; breast cancer screenings from 1,600 to 3,100; and colorectal cancer screenings from 3,000 to 5,800. UnitedHealthcare shares data with Catalyst to inform doctors about patients’ underlying medical conditions, past conditions, gaps in care, medications, and future needs.
Catalyst and UnitedHealthcare also said Catalyst physicians had reduced healthcare spending for more than 60,000 UnitedHealthcare plan participants. Some of those savings came from a 44 percent reduction in out-of-network lab procedures, plus a 30 percent reduction in out-of-network outpatient surgeries for patients participating in the ACO.
“Our collaboration with Catalyst affirms that better integrating data among health providers and health plans leads to improved outcomes for patients,” Scott Flannery, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of North Texas, said in a news release. “Catalyst is a leader in addressing both the quality and cost of healthcare, and together we are improving patient care and enhancing people’s ability to live healthier lives.”
Added Dr. Christopher Crow, president of Catalyst Health Network: “Our relationship with UnitedHealthcare is making a positive impact on our patients’ health and the care they receive from our physicians.”