Addressing the Nation's Primary Care Shortage: Advanced Practice Clinicians and Innovative Care Delivery Models

A new report from UnitedHealth Group highlights that in the U.S., we have the opportunity to increase primary care capacity by allowing advanced practice clinicians to practice to the full extent of their education and training. In addition, we can enhance efforts to increase primary care capacity and access to care through the use of innovative care delivery models, including urgent care centers, retail health clinics, and in-home clinical visits.

Why it matters: Effective primary care improves quality, outcomes, and patient experience, while coordinating care and containing costs. However, 13 percent of U.S. residents live in a county with a primary care physician shortage, defined as less than one primary care physician per 2,000 people, and demand will increase significantly in the coming years. Advanced practice physicians are a growing part of the nation's primary care workforce and represent a practical, near-term opportunity to increase access to care.

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New Medicare Step Therapy Policy Good for Consumers, Health Care System

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a blueprint this spring to lower prescription drug prices and out-of-pocket costs. One piece of that plan is to allow step therapy for physician-administered drugs covered under Medicare Part B. Step therapy promotes use of clinically equivalent, lower-cost drugs before coverage is offered for clinically similar, higher-cost drugs.

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UNLV School of Medicine Welcomes Class of 2022

In recognition of the physician shortage in Nevada, the United Health Foundation is partnering with the UNLV School of Medicine to develop a new, innovative medical school curriculum at the newly established and only medical school in Nevada. Students in the second class of the School of Medicine all have strong Nevada ties and intend to remain in the state once their schooling is complete.

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Value-based Care Relationship With Medtronic Helps Those With Diabetes Avoid the Hospital

UnitedHealthcare has combined its data with Medtronic's to analyze how access to, and proper use of, market-leading inslulin pump technology may help prevent dangerous blood sugar lows and diabetes complications. That relationship is producing new clinical insights to successfully help manage Type 1 diabetes.

Why it matters: It's estimated that more than 20 percent of U.S. health care spending is for people with diabetes -- an estimated $327 billion in 2017. For Medtronic insulin pump users, UnitedHealthcare's value-based care approach showed a 27 percent reduction in preventable hospital admissions in the first year.

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A Place for Families Helping Families

United Health Foundation and the Cankdeska Cikana Community College are partnering to expand access to substance abuse treatment for the Spirit Lake Dakota Community. Construction is underway on a new residential substance abuse treatment center in Fort Totten, N.D.

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A Closer Look at Group Prenatal Care

UnitedHealth Group collaborated with March of Dimes to create a new model of Group Prenatal Care called Supportive Pregnancy Care. Now, the two organizations will scale the model nationally. In addition, UnitedHealth Group is developing a modified model to bring the group support component of Group Prenatal Care to the fingertips of expectant mothers. The new model exists in an online environment.

Why it matters: Nearly 10 percent of all births in the United States are delivered prior to term. In fact, the U.S. ranks 131 out of 185 nations in premature birth rates. According to a Yale University study, Group Prenatal Care can help reduce preterm births by 33 percent, resulting in better health outcomes for mom and baby.

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Helping Students Learn in Peru

Learn how our employees at Pacifico, part of our global operations in Latin America, are helping students in the Andes region of Peru where the weather is often cold and rainy, stay warm and comfortable on their long walks to school.

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Study Explores Whether Free Rides Lead to Better Health

A study initiated by AARP Foundation, University of Southern California Center for Body Computing and UnitedHealthcare, is providing free on-demand rides to medical appointments and social activities for select patients over age 60 in Los Angeles.

Why it matters: Lack of affordable transportation can lead to social isolation and limit access to health care, with approximately 3.6 million Americans each year missing medical care because of transportation issues. The three month study is exploring whether free rides affect participants' health, social connectedness and compliance with medical appointments.

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Social Responsibility Report

The people of UnitedHealth Group are driven by our mission to help people live healthier lives and to help make the health system work better for everyone. This report highlights how we combine our knowledge, experience and compassion – as an enterprise and as individuals – to support initiatives that improve health quality and outcomes in the communities where we live and work.

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The Power of Community Health Workers

Community health workers like UnitedHealthcare's Lisa Pleas are dedicated to enhancing the health of community members. They often go to individuals' homes, places of worship or community centers to provide them with the non-clinical care they need. They help patients navigate the health care system, find affordable care and provide resources to support long-term health.

The big picture: Tens of millions of people living in the United States continue to struggle to get access to the health-related services they need. At UnitedHealthcare, the community health worker model starts by addressing the social determinants of health, which includes a person's access to food, stable housing, transportation and social connection. These factors often have the biggest effect on underserved and uninsured populations.

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UnitedHealth Group Recognized as One of the 50 Most Community-Minded Companies in the United States

For the seventh consecutive year, UnitedHealth Group was recognized by The Civic 50 as one of the most community-minded companies in the U.S. The Civic 50 provides a national standard for corporate citizenship and showcases how companies can use their time, skills and other resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business.

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New Report Sheds Light on Seniors' Health Rankings by State: Where Does Your State Rank?

The United Health Foundation's 2018 America's Health Rankings® Senior Report sheds light on how states rank related to certain behaviors and health outcomes. The health determinants in the report are grouped into four measurement areas: behaviors, community/environment, policy and clinical care. Related to behaviors, the report looked at six metrics: smoking, excessive drinking, obesity, physical inactivity, dental visits and pain management.

Why it matters: "It is our goal with this report to help seniors, family caregivers and advocates better understand the specific health concerns in their own communities so we can all work together to address them," said Rhonda Randall, D.O., senior adviser to the United Health Foundation and chief medical officer and executive vice president, UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions.

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