UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Louisiana awarded more than $3.4 million in bonus payments to 249 physician practices statewide for improving the quality of care for people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Medicaid plans.
Physicians earning bonuses achieved the highest levels for key quality measures during a six-month period in 2015. These include conducting preventive health screenings; helping patients become more informed and engaged in their health care decisions; and focusing on quality performance metrics that the state has identified for the Medicaid program, such as adolescent well visits, diabetic screenings and eye exams
For example, one physician practice in Shreveport exceeded targets and improved patient access to health services, as illustrated by the following three performance measures that are from metrics set by the state Medicaid program:
- Adolescent well-care: Six months into the partnership, more than 70 percent of patients had their well-check, 17 percent above the state target.
- Child well care: 83.5 percent of children ages 3 to 5 received well care, 8.5 percent above the state target.
- Chlamydia screening in women: Nearly 72 percent of women were screened for chlamydia, 13 percent above the state target.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) administers the Bayou Health Medicaid program, through which UnitedHealthcare operates as a Louisiana Medicaid managed care organization (MCO). Dr. Rebekah Gee, DHH secretary, says using incentive programs such as UnitedHealthcare's is a best practice that improves the quality of clinical care while driving down overall costs.
"We are excited that our Bayou Health plan partners are measuring the performance and outcomes of their physicians," said Dr. Gee. "These incentive payments are examples of the effectiveness of value-based purchasing, and they show how, in partnership with UnitedHealthcare and the other MCOs, Bayou Health is reengineering health care delivery in Louisiana in a way that improves the care provided to Louisianans enrolled in Medicaid."
More than 75 percent of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan members in Louisiana are accessing care from a physician practice that has earned a bonus under these programs. UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Louisiana serves more than 290,000 Medicaid plan participants statewide.
"As we move to value-based reimbursement in Louisiana, physicians need a good partner to help them realize the quality and cost-effective medicine that is required to succeed," said Keith M. Perrin, M.D., Children's Pediatrics in New Orleans. "Success means delivering quality medicine with better patient outcomes. It is key to remember that overutilization of health care services can occasionally be harmful to patients."
"Thousands of UnitedHealthcare Medicaid plan participants statewide receive quality, compassionate care from hundreds of physicians who deliver more personalized and better connected care," said Dr. Ann Kay Logarbo, medical director, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Louisiana. "We are grateful for the opportunity to recognize and reward Louisiana physicians for embracing the value-based care model and helping Medicaid members live healthier lives."
These programs are part of UnitedHealthcare's efforts to help shift the nation's health care system to a value-based care model that rewards the quality of patients' health outcomes and has the potential to reduce overall costs.
Care providers nationwide are showing strong interest in a shift to value-based care. UnitedHealthcare's total payments to physicians and hospitals that are tied to value-based arrangements have tripled in the last three years to $45 billion. By the end of 2018, UnitedHealthcare expects that figure to reach
For more information about UnitedHealthcare's full spectrum of value-based initiatives, visit http://www.uhc.com/valuebasedcare.
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 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare 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.