UnitedHealthcare is partnering with WakeMed Key Community Care, a local accountable care organization, to reduce medical expenses and improve patient care.
WakeMed Key Community Care is a joint venture between WakeMed Health & Hospitals and Key Physicians that provides access to more than 400 doctors in the Triangle.
Under the agreement announced Wednesday, UnitedHealthcare will provide the ACO doctors offices with internal utilization reports so that they know what services patients are using and billing for insurance. Such insurance records are typically proprietary and will give WakeMed and Key Physicians a more complete picture of patients’ health care history.
UnitedHealthcare will also contribute financially to help WakeMed Key Community Care hire staff that will coordinate patient care. Typically, the staff closely monitors and stays in contact with patients to prevent complications and other costly developments.
Potentially more than 175,000 patients on UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored health plans in North Carolina could benefit from the partnership with WakeMed Key Community Care network. At least 29,000 patients will benefit in the Triangle.
The ACO approach to health care involves regular oversight of patients after they leave the hospital or the doctor’s office to ensure they are taking medications and following their prescribed regimen.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s biggest insurer, signed a similar agreement with WakeMed Key Community Care in July.
UnitedHealthcare has agreements with more than 520 ACOs. Its collaboration with WakeMed Key Community Care is set to begin June 1.