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ARTICLE Tucson ACO

Tucson Medical Center and local physicians, with the help of Optum™, are creating the nation's first Sustainable Health Community, based on the new Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. In the ACO approach, hospitals, physicians, residents, employers and others share in the risks and rewards of making the health system work better for everyone.


The Tucson initiative will rely on the newly-organized Southern Arizona Accountable Care Organization (SAACO) to coordinate care delivery and participate in shared savings contracts. SAACO includes Tucson Medical Center and independent physicians in the community.


OptumHealth™, OptumInsight™ and OptumRx™ will provide the analytics to help SAACO determine which areas are in need of change, measure progress and ensure that critical information is available to support clinicians; decisions at the point of care. Optum will also help see that vital patient health information is effectively shared among caregivers.


Participating physicians have agreed to be measured and rewarded based on achieving goals for high-quality patient care, patient satisfaction and reduced costs – as well as for effective management of care for the chronically ill and efficient transitions of care for patients. SAACO will share in the savings resulting from their focus on implementing these clinical and administrative best practices.


Ultimately the goal is for improved health in the entire community. Optum is looking forward to the opportunity to apply its innovative capabilities to help create a Sustainable Health Community in Tucson. We believe that what we learn will not only improve health for residents of Tucson, but will also serve as an example for communities across the country that want to make their health systems work better for everyone.