Catalyst Health Network and UnitedHealthcare’s Accountable Care Organization Fostering High-Quality Care at Lower Cost

October 12, 2017
  • Catalyst Health Network (Catalyst) has nearly doubled the number of annual preventive screenings for cervical cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer
  • Catalyst and UnitedHealthcare’s accountable care organization lowered health care costs in North Texas by more than $11 million in 2016

More people in the Dallas metroplex are accessing high-quality care at lower cost through Catalyst Health Network (Catalyst) and UnitedHealthcare’s accountable care organization (ACO).

The accountable care relationship was established in 2015 for people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored and individual health plans, and has grown to include more than 450 primary care providers across North Texas.

Catalyst is now exceeding national standards for screenings of important preventive services and treatment of specific illnesses. Catalyst physicians have nearly doubled the number of annual preventive screenings for cervical cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.  

These cancers rank among the Top 10 leading causes of cancer death in the United States, but can be prevented if detected early. UnitedHealthcare shares data with Catalyst to inform doctors of patients’ underlying medical conditions, past treatments, gaps in care, medications prescribed and future care needs. The high performance of this ACO has touched the lives of thousands of UnitedHealthcare plan participants through preventive screenings, including:

  • cervical cancer screenings have increased, from 4,300 to 8,500 people annually;   
  • breast cancer screenings have increased, from 1,600 to 3,100 people annually; and
  • colorectal cancer screenings have increased, from 3,000 to 5,800 people annually.

Comprehensive diabetes care has also improved, more than doubling the number of patients living with diabetes receiving the necessary care to manage their condition in the last two years. Since 2015, Catalyst has reported that more than 1,500 additional UnitedHealthcare plan participants have received regular Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) testing, eye exams, monitoring for nephropathy and blood-pressure control.

“Our relationship with UnitedHealthcare is making a positive impact on our patients’ health and the care they receive from our physicians,” said Christopher Crow, M.D., president of Catalyst Health Network. “We are extremely proud of the engagement from our providers and practices. It is great to live up to our purpose and put dollars back into the communities we serve. We appreciate the opportunity to work with UnitedHealthcare to provide highly coordinated and quality health care.”

In 2016, Catalyst care providers reduced health care spend by more than $11million for over 60,000 UnitedHealthcare plan participants. In addition to quality improvements, savings were also driven by a 44-percent reduction in out-of-network lab procedures and a 30-percent reduction in out-of-network outpatient surgeries performed for patients participating in the ACO.

Accountable care programs shift care provider reimbursement away from the traditional fee-for-service delivery model to a value-based approach in which physicians are eligible to receive payment incentives based on patient satisfaction and achieving certain clinical measures. This collaboration also improves the ability to identify patients at high risk and help them reduce emergency room visits and readmissions to the hospital, manage their chronic health conditions and take their needed medications.

“Our collaboration with Catalyst affirms that better integrating data among care providers and health plans leads to improved outcomes for patients,” said Scott Flannery, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of North Texas. “Catalyst is a leader in addressing both the quality and cost of health care, and together we are improving patient care and enhancing people’s ability to live healthier lives.”

More than 15 million people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans across the country have access to accountable care programs, delivered in part through more than 800 accountable care arrangements nationwide as the organization engages in deeper, more collaborative relationships with physicians and hospitals.

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 more than $54 billion. By the end of 2018, UnitedHealthcare expects that figure to reach $65 billion.

For more information about UnitedHealthcare’s changing relationships with care providers and how value-based programs are helping to improve quality and people’s health, visit and download the Value-based Care Report.

About Catalyst Health Network

Catalyst Health Network is a clinically integrated network of primary care physicians who have come together to provide high-quality care, helping communities thrive. With 465 primary care providers, 140 office locations, 750,000 patients, and 70 care team members, Catalyst Health Network operates as a non-profit organization improving health, coordinating care, and lowering cost – creating sustainable and predictable value. The network is comprised solely of physician members and managed by StratiFi Health, a physician services and population health organization. For more information, visit or follow @CatalystHN on Twitter.

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 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 or follow @UHC on Twitter.