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UnitedHealthcare and Florida Accountable Care Services Partner to Improve Patient Outcomes, Lower Healthcare Costs

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Photo: Julie Fletcher/UnitedHealthcare

Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted into law in 2010, providers have had to balance finding ways to lower healthcare costs without sacrificing the quality of care.

Now, one of the largest healthcare insurance companies is partnering with an accountable care organization in a move that likely will improve patient care for more than 20,000 people in Central Florida.

UnitedHealthcare and Florida Accountable Care Services (FACS), a network of independent doctors, are launching a joint program on April 1 that will focus on care coordination and improving collaboration and communication among patients’ healthcare providers.

The accountable care program will deliver reimbursements based on patient outcomes rather than the quantity of services a doctor or medical facility provides. More than 20,000 people currently enrolled in an individual or employer-based plan through UnitedHealthcare who are also patients at one of FACS practices in Central Florida will have additional benefits, such as around-the-clock support and access to a care guardian.

The Florida Accountable Care Services network currently includes more than 350 physicians, from primary care doctors to specialists. This collaboration means that FACS and UnitedHealthcare will leverage real-time data, technology and information about emergency room visits and other hospital records to better coordinate patients’ care across the healthcare system. The group also will focus on providing patients with services that help them better manage their chronic conditions and improve their overall health.

The data component of this partnership is really promising because it may help to identify gaps in care and give patients services that are more personalized to their needs. Overall, this new partnership between FACS and UnitedHealthcare could be a future model for how insurers work with accountable care organizations to improve patient outcomes. The more that providers engage in outcome-based contracts, the greater likelihood that we’ll reduce the cost of care throughout the entire health system — which is a win for both patients and providers.

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