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ARTICLE New West Physicians and UnitedHealthcare Launch Accountable Care Organization


DENVER (Feb. 20, 2013) – New West Physicians and UnitedHealthcare are launching an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in Denver, enabling primary care doctors to more easily manage all aspects of a patient's health care and help ensure proper course of treatment.


New West Physicians is a leading primary care group practice and medical management company with 65 physicians and 16 physician assistants and nurse practitioners at 16 office locations throughout the Denver metro area. The new ACO offers quality care provided by New West Physicians doctors and health professionals and will be made available to more than 14,000 Denver residents enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's employer-sponsored health plans.


By creating this innovative model of care, the two organizations are helping shift Colorado's health care system to one that rewards quality and value of care vs. volume of patients treated. The ACO is the latest in a series of innovative programs UnitedHealthcare has created to improve the quality and efficiency of health care in line with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's "Triple Aim" – increase patient satisfaction, improve the health of the population and reduce the cost of health care.


"New West Physicians looks forward to working with UnitedHealthcare to provide quality, efficient care to more people in Denver. Together, we will serve thousands of people in the Denver metro area through coordinated care, which will improve health and lower costs," said Ruth Benton, CEO, New West Physicians.


UnitedHealthcare plan participants who currently receive care from New West Physician care providers do not have to do anything differently to receive the benefits of the ACO, including enhanced care coordination and follow-up. Participating primary care physicians will receive monthly updates on their patients, enabling them to monitor all of the care each patient is receiving and access the patient's care in one record.


For example, if a patient is being treated for heart disease, all the tests, screenings and medications the patient is receiving will be collected into one record to ensure that the appropriate course of care is being followed, the care is coordinated among all providers, and the patient is receiving any and all necessary services. This model will help manage services for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, while keeping the focus on health and well-being for people who are not ill.


New West care providers will be eligible for payment incentives based on meaningful improvements in measures such as readmission rates, disease management and prevention, patient safety, and care delivery well supported by science.


"New West Physicians is recognized as one of the leading providers of high-quality health care services in the Denver area, and we are pleased that our health plan customers will have access to this innovative ACO care model that improves quality, streamlines care and reduces costs," said Beth Soberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual of Colorado.


UnitedHealthcare is working with thousands of physician groups, hospitals and medical centers, and other health care providers nationwide to place greater emphasis on rewarding care providers for better care, better health and lower costs. Today, more than $20 billion of UnitedHealthcare's annual physician and hospital reimbursements is tied to accountable care programs, centers of excellence and other performance-based programs.


About New West Physicians
Patient education and the maintenance of long-term healthy lifestyles is a primary focus of each New West physician. Each New West provider acknowledges that it is a privilege to serve those who entrust us with their healthcare. New West regularly conducts its own internal research to ensure consistent delivery of high quality care reflecting the best and most current medical research. To provide the most comprehensive and best possible care to our patients, New West has aligned with over 500 specialist colleagues. A collaborative relationship between the primary care physician and the specialist allow for continuity of care across the continuum to meet all our patients' healthcare needs.


About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in medical health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.