UnitedHealthcare Wins Innovation Award fron National Business Coalition on Health for Programs that Improve Consumers’ Health
MINNEAPOLIS, The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) gave UnitedHealthcare a 2009 eValue8 Health Plan Innovation Award for programs that help engage physicians and patients to achieve better health outcomes.
UnitedHealthcare’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program and Diabetes Health Plan were recognized by the NBCH for their ability to help enhance health care safety and quality while reducing costs. Both initiatives use UnitedHealthcare’s industry-leading technology and data resources and integrate patient and physician information in order to help drive more informed health care decisions.
“UnitedHealthcare’s Patient-Centered Medical Home program and Diabetes Health Plan were selected because both are the kind of innovations that are significant drivers of health status,” said Dennis White, senior vice president of value based purchasing at NBCH. “Purchasers are very interested in innovations like these as they align incentives, restructure care delivery and provide tools that keep people healthy.”
“We are honored to receive this award from the National Business Coalition on Health as recognition that our company’s continued innovation is helping people live healthier lives. The Patient-Centered Medical Home and Diabetes Health Plan are examples of how consumer information and education, comprehensive program support, and financial incentives help physicians and patients tackle rising health care costs while driving better health outcomes,” said Sam Ho, M.D., UnitedHealthcare executive vice president and chief medical officer.
Coordinating Care At A “Medical Home”
UnitedHealthcare’s PCMH program involves primary care practices in Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, New York and Rhode Island and was developed in close collaboration with national primary care specialty societies including the American Academy of Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association and American Academy of Pediatricians. In the PCMH model, patients receive coordinated care from their primary-care physician, or “medical home,” rather than fragmented and episodic care from various health care providers or facilities. The model promotes enhanced disease prevention and care of chronic conditions. It also emphasizes behavioral health support and patient education, not just the diagnosis and treatment of injury and illness.
UnitedHealthcare provides participating PCMH primary care practices with technology, infrastructure support and care-coordination services. These improved information systems are designed to enhance patient access to care; help improve the quality and safety of the care experience as well as the delivery of preventive and chronic care; and drive patient satisfaction. All medical home projects include innovative payment models to primary care physicians, derived from anticipated savings due to better coordination of care and prevention of complications in chronic diseases.
Diabetes Health Plan
UnitedHealthcare’s Diabetes Health Plan is designed to help employers control the escalating costs of insuring diabetic and pre-diabetic employees and their families while improving their health. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), one out of every five health care dollars is spent caring for someone diagnosed with diabetes, while one in 10 health care dollars is attributed directly to diabetes.
The first-of-its-kind Diabetes Health Plan goes further than traditional diabetes wellness programs by providing patients with financial incentives for adhering to certain routine preventive care compliance requirements such as having regular blood sugar checks, routine exams and preventive screenings, which can result in better self-management of their care. Plan benefits, which can include some free diabetes supplies and diabetes-related prescription drugs, as well as lower co-payments for related doctor visits, can potentially save individuals up to $500 a year in addition to their regular health care benefits.
In addition to helping people live healthier lives, the preventive steps under the Diabetes Health Plan can help significantly lower a diabetic employee’s total health care costs, which average more than $22,000 a year, according to UnitedHealthcare data.
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