UnitedHealthcare announced a three-year, $15 million partnership with the not-for-profit Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers to create new models of care for the sickest patients who drive the lion's share of the nation's healthcare spending.
The Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer also said that Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, the coalition's executive director widely known for winning a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a genius grant, for his work in improving primary care for high-need patients, will leave his post to head up the partnership as Unitedhealthcare's senior vice president of integrated health and human services.
Brenner will lead UnitedHealthcare's myConnections business, which provides low-income individuals in Arizona, Michigan, New York and North Carolina with access to social, medical and behavioral services. Brenner will help build out and expand the program across UnitedHealthcare's entire portfolio, the insurer said.
The hire is a big win for UnitedHealthcare, but a loss for the Camden (N.J.) Coalition, which Brenner founded in 2003 to tackle the complex medical and social needs of the sickest patients in the healthcare system. That work won him the MacArthur "genius" grant in 2013.
“By partnering with the Camden Coalition, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make a transformational impact on our health, behavioral and social service systems,” said Austin Pittman, CEO of UnitedHealthcare's Community & State division, which provides Medicaid, Medicare and Children's Health Insurance Program services.
In a letter to colleagues, Brenner said the partnership will accelerate the work of the Camden Coalition.
“At a time of change and uncertainty in our country, a vision and strategy for better care at lower cost for America's most vulnerable patients is more important than ever,” he wrote.
Brenner will remain in a transitional role with the coalition until a replacement is found.