Mount Carmel Health Partners and UnitedHealthcare today announced an accountable care organization (ACO) that will provide coordinated health care to Central Ohio residents enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's employer-sponsored health plans.
The new ACO model, which will launch Oct. 1, will help shift the Central Ohio health care system from one that rewards for number of patients treated to one that rewards quality and value. Under the collaboration, Mount Carmel and its physicians will manage all aspects of patients' care, providing the right treatment in the right setting at the right time. This will be Mount Carmel's second ACO program and UnitedHealthcare's first in the state.
"The vision for the ACO is to improve the health of the population it serves while providing high-quality care and reducing unnecessary medical costs," said Daniel Wendorff, M.D., medical director and interim executive director of Mount Carmel Health Partners. "We are proud to partner with UnitedHealthcare in this new chapter of our longstanding relationship to serve the health needs of Central Ohio residents."
"Mount Carmel is an ideal partner to help deliver care that is best for each patient's unique situation and personal needs," said Robert Falkenberg, president & CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Ohio. "Thanks to Mount Carmel's vision, leadership and collaboration, together we'll improve the delivery of health care services that will enhance both the quality and efficiency of care in this community."
The new ACO collaboration will help participating physicians and Mount Carmel's four hospitals improve transitions of care for patients and facilitate better communication with other medical providers involved in a patient's treatment. More than 20,000 UnitedHealthcare plan participants who currently receive care from Mount Carmel care providers will not have to do anything differently to receive ACO benefits, which include enhanced care coordination and follow-up.
Primary care physicians in the ACO will receive monthly updates on their patients, enabling them to monitor all of the care each patient is receiving, and to maintain all clinical information about each patient in a secure patient registry. Care providers will be eligible for payment incentives based on meaningful improvements in measures such as readmission rates, disease management and prevention, patient safety, and care delivery.
"While the ACO will seek to reduce medical costs, it will optimize care – providing the appropriate care at the appropriate time in the appropriate location – and that's better care all around," Wendorff said.
UnitedHealthcare, which serves more than 1.7 million Ohio residents with a care provider network of more than 200 hospitals and 30,400 physicians statewide, is working with thousands of physician groups, hospitals, medical centers and other health care providers nationwide to place greater emphasis on rewarding care providers for better care, better health and lower costs.
"Our collaboration with Mount Carmel is the latest in a series of programs we've created to improve health care quality and efficiency in line with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 'Triple Aim' – increase patient satisfaction, improve people's health and reduce health care costs," said Falkenberg. "It is the first of several such programs we expect to bring to Ohio."
Today, more than $22 billion of UnitedHealthcare's annual physician and hospital reimbursements are tied to accountable care programs, centers of excellence and other performance-based programs. The company recently announced it expects to grow its industry-leading accountable care contracts to $50 billion by 2017. For more information about UnitedHealthcare's accountable care initiatives, visit www.AccountableCareAnswers.com.
About Mount Carmel Health Partners
Mount Carmel Health Partners is a physician hospital organization (PHO) that is jointly owned by 1,500 primary care and specialty physicians and Mount Carmel Health System. Health Partners and its member physicians are actively engaged with our health plan partners, patients and community to improve the delivery and quality of health care in central Ohio.
About Mount Carmel Health System
A member of the Catholic Health Association and CHE Trinity Health, for more than 125 years Mount Carmel has been a leader in patient care. Our team of more than 8,000 employees, 1,500 physicians and 1,000 volunteers provides an array of cutting-edge, patient-focused primary and specialty healthcare services at four central Ohio hospitals — Mount Carmel East, Mount Carmel West, Mount Carmel St. Ann's and Mount Carmel New Albany — as well as our free-standing emergency department, surgery centers, outpatient facilities, physician offices and community outreach sites. Mount Carmel is also dedicated to medical and nursing education and training as well, with six physician medical residency programs and the Mount Carmel College of Nursing – Ohio's fourth-largest baccalaureate nursing degree program.
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 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.