UnitedHealthcare and Commonwealth Primary Care Collaborate to Improve Patient Care Management in Arizona

November 11, 2014
  • Partnership marks UnitedHealthcare’s first primary care, physician-led Accountable Care Organization in Arizona
  • More than 12,000 people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s employer-sponsored plans to benefit from improved care coordination and enhanced health care services through Commonwealth Primary Care

Commonwealth Primary Care and UnitedHealthcare have launched an accountable care organization (ACO) to provide improved care coordination and enhanced health services to UnitedHealthcare plan participants in Maricopa and Pinal counties and surrounding areas.

Commonwealth’s partnership with UnitedHealthcare will help shift the local health care delivery system from one based on volume of care to one that rewards quality and value. Commonwealth and its 93 affiliated physicians will be responsible for ensuring patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

Commonwealth’s primary care physicians in the ACO will receive regular patient updates, enabling the physicians to monitor every aspect of care each patient is receiving, and to maintain all clinical information about each patient in a secure patient registry. This collaboration will help improve health care quality while reducing costs.

UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored plan participants who are currently served by Commonwealth’s care providers will not need to do anything differently to receive the benefits of this new model, which also includes enhanced care coordination and follow-up.

“Commonwealth’s goal is to develop interactive processes and protocols that extend the reach of the primary care practice across the health care continuum,” said Lance Donkerbrook, COO of Commonwealth Primary Care ACO. “Primary care physicians are critical to assembling processes necessary to improve the value of how medicine is practiced in our health care system. UnitedHealthcare brings knowledge, tools and resources to help our organization achieve those objectives.”

UnitedHealthcare and Commonwealth will coordinate evidence-based care, ensuring that the primary care physicians, specialists and facilities are aligned with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI’s) “Triple Aim” objective: increase patient satisfaction, improve the health of the population and reduce the cost of health care.

Commonwealth’s care providers will be eligible for payment incentives based on specific quality metrics and evidence-based guidelines, such as hospital readmission rates, disease management and prevention, patient safety and care delivery, and total cost savings and patient satisfaction.

“UnitedHealthcare’s collaboration with Commonwealth Primary Care illustrates the deeper relationships the company is building with local care providers to enhance health services and improve the coordination of their care for our plan participants,” said Beth Soberg, president and CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. “This ACO with Commonwealth will help deliver better quality, improved outcomes and lower costs for our health plan customers in Maricopa and Pinal counties.”

This new ACO relationship is UnitedHealthcare’s first primary care, physician-led ACO in Arizona. Previously, UnitedHealthcare has launched three hospital-led ACO’s in the state. The partnerships are all aimed at increasing quality and coordinated care for Arizona residents.

Nationwide, more than $36 billion of UnitedHealthcare’s annual physician and hospital reimbursements are tied to accountable care programs, centers of excellence and performance-based programs. The company projects this reimbursement will reach $65 billion by 2018. For more information about UnitedHealthcare’s accountable care organization initiatives, visit www.AccountableCareAnswers.com.

UnitedHealthcare serves 1.6 million people in Arizona with a care provider network of 78 hospitals and more than 14,000 physicians statewide.

About Commonwealth Primary Care
Commonwealth Primary Care ACO, is one of the nation’s few primary care founded, owned, operated and governed Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Our membership base consists of over one hundred primary care physicians and over one hundred additional Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant midlevel providers. The total count of all primary care providers is approximately two hundred and fifty when adding MD, DO, NP and PA designations. The CPCACO is designated as a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACO as chartered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Commonwealth has a number of great partnering specialists, facilities and ancillary providers that round out our innovative organization.

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, military service members, retirees and their families,and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves 45 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. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

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