Healthcare Business News

ACO planned in suburban New York

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: March 20, 2012 - 11:45 am ET

Westmed Medical Group, a multispecialty group medical practice based in Purchase, N.Y., said it is collaborating with UnitedHealth Group to form an accountable care organization.

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Westmed will work with UnitedHealthcare and Optum, the insurance and health information technology services businesses of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, to form the Westmed ACO, according to a news release. Westmed has 220 physicians at nine locations in New York's Westchester County.

The Westmed ACO will be available to Westchester County residents who are covered by UnitedHealthcare's Oxford Health Plans fully insured commercial product starting April 1.

A spokeswoman for UnitedHealthcare said the company plans to seek approval from the New York State Department of Health to expand the ACO to include Westchester County residents who are covered under Oxford Health's fully insured commercial HMO and POS products.

“Our collaboration with WestMed is the latest in a series of accountable care initiatives that bring together the strength of UnitedHealthcare's care provider networks and Optum's technology capabilities to further advance patient care and service,” said Dr. Sam Ho, executive vice president and chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare, in the news release.

Last June, Tucson Medical Center and local physicians said they had formed a partnership with Optum to create an ACO in southern Arizona. The UnitedHealthcare spokeswoman said in an email that the company plans to announce other ACO initiatives this year.

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