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ARTICLE UnitedHealthcare and Arizona Care Network to Enhance Care Delivery with New Accountable Care Relationship


PHOENIX  (May 6, 2014) – Arizona Care Network and UnitedHealthcare are launching an accountable care organization (ACO) to improve care quality and reduce costs for nearly 15,000 Phoenix-area residents enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's employer-sponsored health plans.

Arizona Care Network, formed through collaboration among Dignity Health, Abrazo Health and other local care providers, is a physician-led and -governed clinically integrated network of more than 2,300 physicians, nine hospitals and numerous health care partners statewide. This care provider network uses innovative technology and programs to improve overall health care delivery and quality by reducing duplicative or unnecessary health care costs.

The new ACO, which launched May 1, will help shift Arizona's health care system from one based on volume of care to one that rewards quality and value. Arizona Care Network and its affiliated physicians will manage all aspects of patients' care, providing the right care in the right place at the right time.

The ACO collaboration will help Arizona Care Network's primary care physicians, hospitals and home health care providers improve transitions of care for patients and facilitate better communication with all who are involved in a patient's treatment. Primary care physicians in the ACO will receive regular patient updates, enabling them to monitor all of the care each patient is receiving, and to maintain all clinical information about each patient in a secure patient registry.

"We look forward to working with Arizona Care Network to bring this distinctive care model that improves quality and reduces costs to UnitedHealthcare plan participants in Phoenix," said Beth Soberg, president and CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. "UnitedHealthcare's new partnership with Arizona Care Network is the latest example of how we are working closely with the care provider community to enhance the way care is delivered to patients."

UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored plan participants who are currently served by the participating care providers will not have to do anything differently to receive the benefits of this new ACO, which include enhanced care coordination and follow-up.

"We are excited to offer UnitedHealthcare customers Arizona Care Network's comprehensive physician resources and personalized health care," said Mark Hillard, CEO, Arizona Care Network. "This partnership continues the longstanding relationship of UnitedHealthcare with both Dignity Health and Abrazo Health, and enhances our ability to serve our community's unique health care needs."

Arizona Care Network coordinates evidence-based care, ensuring that the primary care physicians, specialists and facilities are aligned with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI's) "Triple Aim" objective: increase patient satisfaction, improve the health of the population and reduce the cost of health care.

This is UnitedHealthcare's second ACO in Arizona. Last year, the company launched an ACO with Arizona Connected Care, providing this innovative model to Tucson residents enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's employer-sponsored health plans. UnitedHealthcare serves 1.6 million people in Arizona with a care provider network of 78 hospitals and more than 14,000 physicians statewide.

Nationwide, more than $30 billion of UnitedHealthcare's annual physician and hospital reimbursements are tied to accountable care programs, centers of excellence and performance-based programs. The company projects this will reach $65 billion by 2018. For more information about UnitedHealthcare's accountable care initiatives, visit AccountableCareAnswers.com.

About Arizona Care Network

Arizona Care Network (ACN) is a physician-led, physician-governed accountable care organization and clinically integrated network that fosters collaboration and improved quality through shared resources, advanced technology and clinical best practices that align with emerging models of care delivery. ACN represents collaboration between Dignity Health and Abrazo Health, two market-leading organizations providing healthcare in Arizona.

Arizona Care Network increases access to high quality care through communication and technology, thus improving health outcomes and providing a superior patient experience. Composed of more than 2,300 physicians, nine acute care hospitals and more than half of all recognized Patient Centered Medical Home models in Arizona, ACN is shaping the future of health care through its progressive models of care delivery.

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 more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 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.