Intermountain Healthcare, through its company Castell, and UnitedHealthcare have established an accountable care organization (ACO) that’s designed to improve health outcomes for UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage members through enhanced care coordination.

ACOs are groups of health care providers who agree to work together to coordinate patient care and deliver the right care at the right time. ACOs help shift provider reimbursement to a value-based approach that rewards physicians and advanced practice providers based on their ability to deliver improved health outcomes and a better patient experience.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members who receive care from Intermountain-employed primary care physicians and providers in northern and southern Utah, as well as other participating primary care providers in southern Utah, are eligible for the ACO.

The primary care providers participating in the ACO will coordinate care for their UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage patients with the support of Castell/Intermountain, including its care management, care coordination, network services and documentation teams.

Through the new accountable care relationship, UnitedHealthcare will provide an enhanced level of data and support to Intermountain to enable its providers to deliver more comprehensive and coordinated care to their patients. For example, UnitedHealthcare will share data about its members’ underlying medical conditions, past treatments, gaps in care, medications prescribed, and future care needs.

The data will be actionable and specific to individual patients, giving Intermountain providers a fuller picture of their patients’ health status and arming them with valuable information that supports their efforts to provide quality care. For example, providers can more easily identify patients who are at higher risk for an adverse health outcome such as an emergency room visit or readmission to the hospital, allowing them to intervene more quickly. They can also use the data to help patients manage their chronic conditions and take their medications as prescribed.

Ultimately the ACO will help improve care coordination across specialties and care settings. This in turn can lead to a better experience for UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members and reduce the burden of having to connect information from each of their doctor visits themselves.

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