Healthcare Business News

UnitedHealthcare forms ACO with Wis. providers

By Ashok Selvam
Posted: September 11, 2013 - 2:30 pm ET

UnitedHealthcare and five southeastern Wisconsin healthcare providers that are part of Quality Health Solutions have agreed to form an accountable care initiative to serve more than 100,000 patients covered through employer-sponsored health plans.

Quality Health consists of seven organizations, but the announcement includes only the five members in southeastern Wisconsin. The agreement involves Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac, Wis., and four Milwaukee-based organizations—Columbia St. Mary's, Froedtert Health, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and the Medical College of Wisconsin. They include 18 hospitals and about 3,000 physicians. These providers account for about $650 million of UnitedHealthcare's annual physician and hospital reimbursements in Wisconsin. The initiative will start Jan. 1.

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Overall, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.4 million Wisconsin residents with more than 130 affiliated hospitals and 19,500 physicians. The scale of the deal with Quality Health will accelerate changes to UnitedHealthcare's business model, said Wendy Arnone, UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin's president & CEO, in a news release.

Quality Health and UnitedHealthcare touted reduced costs and increased quality through a better coordination of care.

“The innovative collaboration between multiple providers and payers reflects the uniqueness of Quality Health Solutions' approach to accountable care,” Peter Pruessing, CEO of Quality Health Solutions, said in a news release. “Our alliance of hospitals and physicians enables employers to offer a broad choice of providers, with the added benefit of saving money and improving quality of care. We are extremely pleased to partner with UnitedHealthcare to implement this important initiative.”

Follow Ashok Selvam on Twitter: @MH_aselvam

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