What We Do

Reducing the Total Cost of Care

How We Do It

UnitedHealth Group is working to reduce the total cost of health care with initiatives that strengthen transparency, engagement and incentives for consumers; optimize sites of care; apply value-based payment models and eliminate surprise billing.

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Reducing the total cost of care

Optimizing Sites of Care With Centers of Excellence

A significant health care challenge for many patients is selecting the best site of care for diagnosis and treatment. For procedures requiring a high level of skill and experience, some patients are diagnosed and receive treatment at facilities with lower success rates and a higher incidence of complications. To address this issue, Optum offers Centers of Excellence programs that connect members to high-quality, cost efficient care.

COEs are high-performing programs within a hospital or medical facility that have met rigorous qualification criteria and have a proven history of clinically superior and cost-effective outcomes. Facilities and physicians that participate in COEs typically have high case volumes and deep levels of experience and specialization, which results in their ability to more accurately diagnose conditions and deliver better care with fewer complications.

COE networks include bariatric surgery, cancer, spine and joint, congenital heart disease, neonatal care, fertility, solid organ/stem cell transplants, and ventricular assist devices. 

Centers of Excellence by the numbers

Orthopedic health

Total savings for 38 participating employers in 2020.
Average savings per inpatient surgery in 2020.

Congenital heart disease

Shorter hospital length of stay per case.
Lower mortality rate.

Reducing the total cost of care

Promoting High-Quality Care by Advancing Value-Based Care

Historically, care providers have been paid based on the quantity of services they deliver. However, more recently, the focus has shifted to value-based care that reimburses providers based on the quality of care they deliver and patients’ actual health outcomes.

UnitedHealthcare is a leader and champion of value-based care, creating health plans tailored to each community’s needs, offering resources and incentives to motivate consumers to choose high-performing, value-based care providers. In addition, UnitedHealthcare collaborates with care providers, offering technology, data and other assistance as well as financial rewards for delivering excellent patient results at lower costs. 

Value-based care results
ACOs* perform better than non-ACOs.

Higher rates of annual primary care visits among Medicare ACO members.

More preventive breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings.

Fewer ER admissions.

*Accountable Care Organizations