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DeKalb Physician Hospital Organization, UnitedHealthcare launch joint accountable care program

UnitedHealthcare, DPHO will collaborate to coordinate patient care using shared technology, data, hospital information, companies say.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

DeKalb Physician Hospital Organization and UnitedHealthcare have jointly launched an accountable care program that will dedicate more resources to coordinating patient care and making it easier to share health information, the two announced Thursday.

DPHO hospitals and doctors will share the savings generated by providing care through what they called a "value-based, patient-centric care model", the organizations said.

UnitedHealthcare and DPHO will collaborate to coordinate patient care using shared technology, data and information regarding emergency room visits and hospital admissions. They will also provide services aimed at helping patients manage chronic illnesses.

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UnitedHealthcare will supplement DPHO's own data to help support overall population health, including such things as potential gaps in care and identification of high-risk patients. Patient navigators may also be used to support community-based care coordination for things like care planning after a patient is discharged from the hospital.

More than 14 million people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans across the country have access to accountable care programs. Highlighting the momentum of the shift from volume to value, UnitedHealthcare's total payments to physicians and hospitals that are tied to value-based arrangements have tripled in the last three years, now totaling more than $48 billion. By the end of 2018, UnitedHealthcare predicted the figure would reach $65 billion, the company said in a statement.

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UnitedHealthcare serves more than a million Georgia residents with network that includes 168 hospitals and almost 25,000 physicians and other care providers.

DPHO operates as a network of more than 500 physicians and 3 hospitals: DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, and DeKalb Medical at Downtown Decatur.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn