Cornerstone Health Care Launches Accountable Care Organization in Collaboration with UnitedHealthcare and Optum

January 15, 2013
  • Physician-led, patient-centric ACO combines innovative, value-based performance incentives with advanced analytical tools to improve quality and outcomes for Cornerstone patients
  • Collaboration to enable Cornerstone to achieve Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Triple Aim”: reduced cost, improved quality outcomes and increased patient satisfaction

Cornerstone Health Care is collaborating with UnitedHealthcare and Optum, businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), to launch an accountable care organization (ACO) that enables Cornerstone care providers to manage all aspects of a patient’s health care and ensure that the proper course of treatment is being followed.

This new ACO assures UnitedHealthcare plan participants who reside in the Triad area that care from Cornerstone is coordinated across its more than 360 physicians and other health care professionals to focus on helping patients improve their health.

“This innovative new program focuses on the whole patient with a team that includes doctors, nutritionists, health coaches and social workers,” said Grace E.Terrell, M.D., president and CEO of Cornerstone Health Care. “This program will increase patient engagement and ensure patients are receiving appropriate care and screenings. Our goal is to achieve better health outcomes and to prevent more costly treatments or hospitalizations for our patients.”

Cornerstone and UnitedHealthcare are working together to transform care delivery by rewarding care providers for the quality and value of care delivered rather than basing payment solely on the volume of services delivered and number of patients treated. Cornerstone care providers will have access to Optum’s advanced tools and software applications that will provide health information on their patients, enabling the doctors to more easily collaborate amongs each other on health care decisions. This data will also help Cornerstone care providers better understand and identify best practices for overall patient wellness and disease management, leading to meaningful health improvements over time.

UnitedHealthcare plan participants who use a Cornerstone care provider do not have to do anything differently in order to participate in the ACO. Participating primary care doctors will receive monthly updates on their patients, enabling them to monitor all of the care the patient is receiving. This model will help manage services for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, while keeping a focus on health and well-being by rewarding prevention, increased patient safety and appropriate care utilization.

For example, if a patient is being treated for heart disease, all the tests, screenings and medications that patient is receiving will be collected into one place to ensure the appropriate course of care is being delivered, the care is coordinated and that the patient is receiving all necessary services.

“UnitedHealthcare has extensive data and reporting, as well as the most diversified experience across both commercial and government benefits plans, to help care providers implement quality- and efficiency-based reimbursement models that improve care while decreasing health care costs,” said Garland Scott, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of the Carolinas. “Our collaboration with Cornerstone is the latest in a series of accountable care initiatives across the country that bring together the strength of UnitedHealthcare’s vast care provider network and Optum’s technology capabilities to further advance patient care and service.”

“Our advanced analytical tools and in-depth capabilities are helping Optum clients evolve from providing care to actively managing the health of their communities,” said Chris Pricco, senior vice president of Optum Accountable Care Solutions.

Cornerstone Health Care, based in High Point, N.C., has facilities in more than 80 central North Carolina locations, including High Point, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Summerfield, Thomasville, Archdale, Trinity, Jamestown, Kernersville, Lexington, Asheboro, Advance, Elkin, Reidsville, Hickory, Conover and Granite Falls.

Cornerstone’s patient-centered medical home program has received the highest level of recognition (Level 3) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) Recognition Program. NCQA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.

About Cornerstone Health Care
Cornerstone Health Care is a group of more than 360 physicians and mid-level health professionals representing a wide range of specialties. One of the fastest growing physician groups in the Southeast, Cornerstone is a physician-owned and led multi-disciplinary practice with over 80 locations in communities throughout central North Carolina. Recognized as a 2012 Success Story Award® winner for patient satisfaction by Press Ganey Associates, Inc., Cornerstone is transitioning from the traditional "fee-for-service" model to a patient-centered medical home system providing expanded access, increased coordination of care, enhanced patient education for prevention and treatment of chronic disease, and sophisticated technological support. For more information, visit

About Optum
Optum ( is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. Optum comprises three companies – OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx – representing more than 35,000 employees worldwide who collaborate to deliver integrated, intelligent solutions that work to modernize the health system and improve overall population health.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. 

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