WESTMED's UnitedHealthcare ACO Yields Health Improvements

The accountable care organization formed between WESTMED Medical Group, a multispecialty group practice in Purchas, N.Y., and UnitedHealthcare and Optum reduced costs and showed improvement on nine out of 10 quality metrics in its first year.

The ACO launched in the middle of last year. Since then, more patients have been properly taking their medications and diabetics have had more routine screening and better control of their blood sugar levels, for example.

As part of the ACO agreement, WESTMED received an almost $1 million bonus from UnitedHealthcare. Physicians who met quality and cost metrics may be eligible for bonuses, and the medical group will reinvest part of the bonus into technology enhancements, according to a news release.

More than 13,000 UnitedHealthcare plan participants who are covered under an Oxford Health fully insured commercial plan are part of the initial ACO. The ACO is slated to expand to include more metrics and plan participants, according to the release.

More Articles on Accountable Care Organizations:
3 Suggestions to Intensify Specialist ACO Involvement
Physicians as Full ACO Partners: The Ideal Model?
9 ACO Implementation Challenges

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