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UnitedHealthcare partners with Quest Diagnostics on lab data

Lab data on the 48 million consumers enrolled in UnitedHealthcare will help insurer reduce risk.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Starting in 2019, UnitedHealthcare will use lab data provided by Quest Diagnostics to reduce risk by driving more personalized care.

UnitedHealthcare and Quest Diagnostics have established a long-term strategic partnership for the more than 48 million people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare plans.

UnitedHealthcare and Quest will collaborate on a variety of value-based programs, bringing the same aligned incentives and enhanced patient experience to lab services as exist today in accountable care arrangements between UnitedHealthcare and more than 1,100 hospitals and 110,000 physicians.

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with UnitedHealthcare, and excited about the framework of this agreement, which builds on Quest's growing relationship with UnitedHealth Group," said Steve Rusckowski, chairman, president and CEO of Quest Diagnostics. 

Quest has one of the world's largest database of clinical lab results.

Lab data results have become an important tool for insurers to 

identify risk in a member population.

"Lab data is quickly becoming the personalized roadmap that identifies the path to the next best action for individual patients," said Dan Schumacher, president and chief operating officer of UnitedHealthcare.

Value-based care has made health insurers more patient-centric and focused on making sure members are adhering to prescribed medications, following up with appointments, getting vaccinated and are aware of wellness programs.

Having the history of an individual allows insurers to close care gaps, leading to decreased costs, improved outcomes and an increase in HEDIS - Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set - scores and star ratings. 

UnitedHealthcare already uses the model it is entering with Quest to integrate medical and pharmacy data.

The companies' long-term collaboration also sets the foundation for the development of more modern benefit design to give individuals incentives to use in-network labs.

Quest is currently an in-network lab for a limited number of UnitedHealthcare plans in some markets. It will be in-network nationwide for all plan participants beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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