UnitedHealth tests medical home model in AZ

Joining a fast-growing trend, health plan operator UnitedHealth Group is partnering with medical groups in Arizona to test the "medical home" model of patient care. All told, 26 physicians will offer medical home services to about 7,000 patients.

Under the new pilot program, UHG will give physicians additional control of patient care decisions and higher payments for monitoring patients' progress. UHG will also bring in consultants from a company run by the American Academy of Family Physicians to help doctors fine-tune their practices to improve care. 

UHG notes that while physicians could potentially boost their overall revenue by up to 30 percent under the program, it expects double-digit decreases in hospital stays and emergency department visits.

The project was launched on the request of IBM, whose 11,000 Arizona employees are covered by UnitedHealth plans. However, the patients participating in the pilot include only a handful of IBM employees.

To learn more about the pilot:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report item

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