UnitedHealthcare Partners to Form Large, Multi-System ACO in Wisconsin

In September, 2013, UnitedHealthcare and its collaborators announced plans to create what is planned  to be one of the largest accountable care organizations in  Wisconsin

As predicted, national health insurance companies are moving deliberately to  be part of large accountable care organizations (ACOs). For example, in  Wisconsin, three health systems and one of the nation’s largest health insurers  are developing a multi-system accountable care organization designed to compete  with the largest ACO in the state.

ACOs Expected to Use Medical Laboratory Testing in Different  Ways

For pathologists and clinical laboratory executives, this development is a reminder that ACOs will play a  significant role in healthcare’s transformation. Also, these super-sized ACOs  will have their own influence on the transformation of medical laboratory  testing in this country, since ACOs can be expected to use medical laboratory testing in different ways and are  unlikely to use fee-for-service as the primary method of payment for laboratory  testing.

In September when United Healthcare (UHC) (NYSE: UNH) announced it was collaborating with two health  systems to form an ACO in Wisconsin to cover 100,000 patients. A third health  system (Ministry Health) joined the new ACO network a week later. UHC efforts  are part of a nationwide strategy to double what it spends to provide care in  ACOs.

Currently, Minneapolis, Minn.-based UHC spends more than $23 billion annually  to pay physicians and hospitals in three types of care delivery: ACOs, centers  of excellence, and other performance-based programs. A company spokesperson said  the insurer expects to spend $50 billion on such payments by 2017.

 

Read more: UnitedHealthcare Partners with Quality Health, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Ministry Healthcare to Form Large, Multi-System ACO in Wisconsin | Dark Daily

 

 

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