USMD, UnitedHealthcare Launch Value-Based ACO

UnitedHealthcare has joined with Irving’s USMD Physician Services group to launch a new accountable care organization, a value-based arrangement between more than 250 physicians and as many as 52,000 enrollees.

The deal includes its two USMD member hospitals in Arlington and Fort Worth, its 50 or so Dallas-Forth Worth area clinics, and those physicians in its group. Patients have access to 20 specialties (when the four cancer treatment centers are factored in) and will now be entered into a coordinated care strategy that will follow them out of the care location. USMD hopes this will result in fewer duplicative tests and increase adherence among patients, insuring they will are, for instance, taking their drugs or sticking to a diet.

“We have a long history of partnering with UnitedHealthcare to apply our expertise in health care innovation and patient-centered programs to improve the health of their plan participants and advance toward overall population health management,” read a statement from John M. House, chairman, president and CEO, USMD. “Working together, we expect to achieve even better health outcomes and improve patient satisfaction, while continuing to provide our patients with world-class, cost-effective care.”

Each year, the two say just under 20,000 UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored plan members get services from USMD facilities or affiliated physicians. The company says $48 billion of its payouts are tied to value-based arrangements like this one, tripling over the last three years. By the end of 18, the insurer hopes to get that number up to $68 billion. The insurance giant has a number of similar arrangements in North Texas, including with Baylor Scott & White Health and the Catalyst Health Network’s independent physicians.

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