How Gulf South Quality Network, UnitedHealthcare Say They Are Improving Patients’ Care In Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS – Gulf South Quality Network and UnitedHealthcare have launched an accountable care program that company reps said will improve people’s health and their satisfaction with their health care experience.

         The joint effort will focus largely on dedicating more resources to care coordination and making it easier to share important health information so that every doctor involved in a patient’s care is supporting the same treatment plan, they said.

         UnitedHealthcare and Gulf South Quality Network’s accountable care program changes the incentives for how people’s medical care is paid for in Louisiana, moving away from a system that reimburses for quantity of services provided to one that rewards the quality of patients’ health outcomes and has the potential to reduce overall costs.

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         More than 400,000 people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s employer-sponsored health plans are eligible to benefit from this collaboration.

         Gulf South Quality Network is a clinically integrated physician network led by physicians in the medical and surgical specialties including primary care. Gulf South Quality Network reps said they are committed to maximizing the value of health care services provided to patients throughout the Gulf South region of the United States, starting in Louisiana, and said they believe that creating increased health care value for patients requires that physicians provide high-quality services in a cost-effective manner.

         “We have partnered with UnitedHealthcare to apply our expertise in health care innovation and patient-centered programs to improve the health of their plan participants and advance toward overall population health management,” said Jeffrey Griffin, M.D., chairman, Regional Board of Managers, Gulf South Quality Network. “Together, we expect to achieve even better health outcomes and improve patient satisfaction, while reducing the overall cost of care.”

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         Many people who have gone to the doctor or hospital – particularly those with complex or chronic illnesses – have found they often have to connect information from each of their doctor’s visits themselves, and have sometimes received duplicative tests or care that isn’t coordinated.

         Through this collaboration, UnitedHealthcare and Gulf South Quality Network will work closely to better coordinate patients’ care, using shared technology, real-time data and information about emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and services designed to help patients manage their chronic health conditions and encourage healthy lifestyles.

         UnitedHealthcare will supplement Gulf South Quality Network data to help support overall population health, giving the entire care team clear, actionable data about individual patients’ health needs, potential gaps in care and proactive identification of high-risk patients. Patient navigators may also be used to support community-based care coordination, such as helping with planning after a patient is discharged from the hospital and scheduling follow-up appointments.

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         “Thousands of UnitedHealthcare plan participants turn to Gulf South Quality Network to receive quality, compassionate care, and with this new accountable care program we can help ensure that people receive more personalized and better connected care,” said Joseph Ochipinti, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Louisiana. “Putting more resources into how their care is coordinated, and paying their care providers based on the quality of care and health outcomes, will significantly enhance people’s ability to live healthier lives.”  

         UnitedHealthcare of Louisiana serves more than 770,000 people with a network of 164 hospitals and more than 14,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.

         More than 13 million people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans across the country have access to accountable care programs, delivered in part through more than 750 accountable care arrangements nationwide as the organization engages in deeper, more collaborative relationships with physicians and hospitals.

         Care providers nationwide are showing strong interest in a shift to value-based care. UnitedHealthcare’s total payments to physicians and hospitals that are tied to value-based arrangements have tripled in the last three years to $43 billion. By the end of 2018, UnitedHealthcare expects that figure to reach $65 billion.

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