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ARTICLE Lifespan Launches Accountable Coordinated Care Organization With UnitedHealthcare

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Feb. 27, 2013) – Lifespan and UnitedHealthcare have announced an accountable coordinated care organization (ACCO) that includes Lifespan's acute care hospitals – Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children's Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital – and physicians who will provide coordinated care to about 21,000 people in Rhode Island who are enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's employer-sponsored benefit plans.


Lifespan is one of eight organizations in the United States to participate in UnitedHealthcare's accountable care partnership, or shared savings program, in which emphasis is placed on increased collaboration and outcome-based payments vs. reimbursement based solely on volume of services delivered.


As part of the ACCO, which will begin in July, Lifespan's hospitals and primary care physicians that Lifespan is recruiting into the program will work together to manage patients at every point of care. The ACCO is designed to enable doctors across the care setting to communicate and collaborate about a patient's care to ensure they are providing the right care in the most appropriate setting. UnitedHealthcare will share its claims data and analytics to help physicians in the Lifespan hospital network better manage the care of the patients they serve.


"Lifespan is recognized as one of the leading providers of high-quality health care services in Rhode Island, and we are pleased that our health plan customers will have access to this innovative ACCO care model that improves and streamlines care and reduces costs," said Stephen J. Farrell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of New England.


"As Rhode Island's largest integrated health system, Lifespan has a long track record of providing a full continuum of high-quality, evidence-based care to hundreds of thousands of patients throughout the state and New England," said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and CEO, Lifespan. "We look forward to working with UnitedHealthcare to improve the health of the people in the communities we both serve, reducing health care costs and improving the patient experience."


To participate in the ACCO, UnitedHealthcare plan participants who see primary care physicians in the Lifespan ACCO do not have to do anything differently. Participating primary care doctors will receive monthly updates on their patients, enabling them to monitor all of the care the patient is receiving.


This model will help manage care for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, focusing on the patients' health and well-being by rewarding prevention, increased patient safety and care delivery well supported by science. For example, if a patient is being treated for heart disease, all the tests, screenings and medications that patient is receiving will be collected into one place to ensure the appropriate course of care is being delivered, the care is coordinated and that the patient is receiving all necessary services.


In addition to the data sharing, participating care providers will be eligible for payment incentives based on measurements in disease management and prevention, patient safety and satisfaction, quality health outcomes and reduction of medical costs in the Rhode Island market. Both care quality and cost metrics must be achieved concurrently to help ensure that physicians focus on providing the right level of care for patients.


The ACCO 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.


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.


UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, serves nearly 250,000 Rhode Island residents with a care provider network of 13 hospitals and more than 2,500 physicians statewide. 


About Lifespan
Lifespan, a not-for-profit organization, is Rhode Island's largest health care system. Formed in 1994, it includes Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children's Hospital; The Miriam Hospital; Bradley Hospital and Newport Hospital. Lifespan ( is the state's largest private employer, with about 12,000 employees, and is affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Lifespan hospitals are among the top recipients in the country of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The hospitals received more than $80 million in external research funding in fiscal 2011. All Lifespan-affiliated hospitals are charitable organizations that depend on support from the community to provide programs and services.


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 health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.