Catalyst and UnitedHealthcare’s ACO Saved $28 million Over the Last Two Years

Catalyst Health Network and UnitedHealthcare’s accountable care organization knocked $28 million off of North Texas healthcare costs over the last two years for UnitedHealthcare’s 78,000 plan participants.

The ACO was established in 2015 with a goal of changing the way providers are reimbursed. The organization is moving away from the traditional fee-for-service model and into a system where providers are paid based on results and patient satisfaction. The savings have come from catching disease early through screenings, keeping referrals in-network, reducing emergency room visits, and more. In the last year, the ACO saw ER visits decrease by 4 percent, in-network referrals improve by 11 percent, colorectal cancer screenings go up 8 percent, breast cancer screenings go up 8 percent, and cervical cancer increase by 3 percent.

Those three cancers are treatable if detected early, but still rank among the top 10 leading causes of cancer deaths nationwide. The partnership between the network and insurer shares information that makes caring for the patients more effective and efficient.

“Our relationship with UnitedHealthcare is making a positive impact on our patients’ health and the care they receive from Catalyst physicians’ practices and our extended Care Team,” said Christopher Crow, M.D., via release. Crow is the president of Catalyst Health Network, a nonprofit network of primary care physicians that allows them to coordinate care. “We are extremely proud of the engagement from our providers and practices. It is great to live up to our purpose and put dollars back into the communities and employers we serve. We appreciate the opportunity to work with UnitedHealthcare to provide highly coordinated and quality health care.”

“Our relationship with Catalyst is proof that ongoing collaboration results in better health outcomes for patients and lower health care costs,” said Scott Flannery, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of North Texas via release. “Catalyst continues to be a leader in proactively addressing the care needs of its patients and diligently working to lower costs.”