West Jefferson Physician Quality Alliance, UnitedHealthcare Launch New Accountable Care Program

NEW ORLEANS – West Jefferson Physician Quality Alliance (WJPQA) and UnitedHealthcare will launch a new accountable care program Friday, Sept. 1, to improve the quality of healthcare in Louisiana and enhance care coordination by promoting a team approach to patient care, reps said.

         People enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored plans will benefit from this new accountable care organization (ACO), which will continue shifting southern Louisiana’s healthcare system from one that focuses on the volume of care delivered to one that rewards quality and value, reps said. WJPQA will manage all aspects of patients’ care, providing the right care in the right place at the right time.

         WJPQA, a clinically integrated network that was created by LCMC Health, is composed of five hospitals and has approximately 720 physicians.

         The new relationship comes at a time when clinical advances and new technologies are redefining how care providers and health plans work together to support patients who are becoming more engaged in managing their health and well-being, reps said. Through the accountable care program, WJPQA will provide patient care under an innovative, value-based model focused on keeping people healthy through the delivery of quality, coordinated healthcare.

         “WJPQA and UnitedHealthcare’s accountable care relationship will enable us to provide an enhanced level of coordinated care to more patients in our community,” said Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health. “Success in health care is achieved only when we put the patient at the center of everything, and that includes increasing quality and efficiency while reducing redundancy and health care costs.”

         Many patients – particularly those with complex or chronic illnesses – find they sometimes have to connect information from each of their doctor’s visits themselves, and may receive duplicative tests or healthcare that isn’t coordinated. UnitedHealthcare shares data to help map the many steps in a patient’s healthcare treatment, from the clinic or pharmacy, to a hospital admission or emergency room visit, reps said.

         Through this accountable care relationship, WJPQA and UnitedHealthcare will use this data together to better coordinate patients’ health care, reps said. Using technology that enables sophisticated population health management, the two organizations will be able to identify clear, actionable data specific to individual patients’ health needs and potential missed care opportunities – such as an annual cervical or a colorectal cancer screening.

         This collaboration also improves the ability to identify patients at high risk and help them reduce emergency room visits and readmissions to the hospital, manage their chronic health conditions and take their needed medications.

         “UnitedHealthcare and WJPQA are mutually committed to improving the quality and cost of health care,” said Joe Ochipinti, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Louisiana. “By working more collaboratively with local care providers and creating a more connected health care experience, we can help improve patient care and enhance people’s ability to live healthier lives.”

         More than 15 million people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans across the country have access to accountable care programs, delivered in part through more than 800 accountable care arrangements nationwide as the organization engages in deeper, more collaborative relationships with physicians and hospitals, reps said. UnitedHealthcare’s total payments to physicians and hospitals that are tied to value-based arrangements have tripled in the last three years to more than $54 billion. By the end of 2018, UnitedHealthcare expects that figure to reach $65 billion.

         Download the value-based care report


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