UnitedHealthcare announced that it will significantly expand its Navigate4Me program to bring the benefits of personalized, holistic care to more people enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans.
Navigate4Me offers concierge services from health navigators who support and guide people through the complexities of a fragmented health care system. UnitedHealthcare launched the program in fall 2017 for people enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans who are facing complex health issues such as diabetes, congestive heart failure or multiple chronic conditions. People who have experienced a sudden health event such as joint replacement surgery or a new cancer diagnosis are often also eligible for the program.
Results have been positive, with a 14 percent reduction in hospitalizations and a 9 percent reduction in emergency room visits for people with congestive heart failure. Navigate4Me has a 95 percent satisfaction rate among plan participants who have received navigator support.
UnitedHealthcare grew its team of navigators from a dozen at launch to more than 800 today, supporting approximately 215,000 people. The company plans to double enrollment in 2019 by expanding the population eligible for the program to more than 1 million.
Navigate4Me will be newly available to four groups of people: those who are under 65 and qualify for Medicare due to a disability; those who receive post-acute care following a hospitalization and meet other eligibility criteria; those who are newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; and those who are at risk for social isolation.i The company plans to add more than 500 navigators to its team to support these additional people.
“We created Navigate4Me to ease the burden of navigating the health care system for our members, taking that burden on as their health partner so they don’t have to carry it alone,” said Brian Thompson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “By treating the people we serve with compassion when they’re at their most vulnerable, we’re able to build more trusting relationships with them, which in turn enables us to better support them through their health journey.”
Navigate4Me goes beyond disease management to enable holistic, whole-person care. UnitedHealthcare designed the program to address not just clinical needs but also a host of other factors that affect well-being and health outcomes, including fear and stress associated with managing a major health event and a lack of support between doctor visits or during care transitions, such as being discharged to home or a skilled nursing facility following a hospitalization.
Nurses or highly trained customer service advocates serve as health navigators who help alleviate the burden of managing a serious health issue. Navigators provide support with both clinical and administrative needs associated with people’s health issues, ranging from answering health questions and resolving claims or billing issues to helping them follow a personalized care plan, coordinating care and helping to address social determinants of health, such as connecting people with reliable transportation or housing assistance.
For people facing some of the most complex health issues, their health navigator serves as their single point of contact, becoming a familiar and consistent partner throughout their entire health care journey.
Modernizing Care for Today’s Seniors and Other Beneficiaries
Navigate4Me is part of UnitedHealthcare’s efforts to modernize the way it cares for the people enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans as the baby boomer generation continues aging into Medicare.
Nearly 40 percent of the people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans have four or more chronic conditions, and nearly the same percentage live alone. These individuals are especially vulnerable when dealing with serious health issues and trying to navigate a complicated health care system.
By providing the support of dedicated health navigators, UnitedHealthcare aims to personalize the health experience for these individuals and improve their health and quality of life.
More people have chosen UnitedHealthcare to provide their Medicare coverage than any other company.ii UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 12.5 million people enrolled in Medicare, including more than 4.9 million people in Medicare Advantage plans, more than 4.7 million people in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans, and more than 4.5 million people in Medicare supplement plans.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.
Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare.
i Other eligibility criteria apply.
ii CMS enrollment data and UnitedHealthcare internal data, 2018
Statistics in this release can be attributed to 2018 UnitedHealthcare internal data.