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University of California and UnitedHealth Combine to Improve California’s Health Care

The University of California and UnitedHealth Group have joined into a 10-year partnership to transition California to a value-based healthcare system and improving patient care across the board. They hope to leverage the expertise of each organization and examine broader trends in care delivery to bring new, innovative ideas to patient care.

University of California’s UC Health is the University’s clinical and health education arm, combining research capabilities with one of the nation’s largest health sciences instructional programs.  UnitedHealth Group is a health and well-being company divided into UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits, and Optum, which provides health IT services.

Together, they will promote advancements in clinical research and design patient-centered, clinically integrated care provider networks to advance California’s health care delivery system.

As part of this partnership, UC Health will become the first west coast healthcare provider to partner with OptumLabs for their research capabilities. OptumLabs will grant them access to the largest database of de-identified, linked clinical and administrative claims information in the United States.

UnitedHealthcare will also be donating $1 million to UC Health to support research programs, and OptumLabs will sponsor a five-year internship program to train the next wave of health care data scientists.

“This collaboration aligns with UC Health’s overall strategy to partner with other health care stakeholders to deliver cost-effective, higher-quality health care,” said John D. Stobo, M.D., executive vice president, UC Health. “Health care is changing rapidly, and this relationship will help us stay on the leading edge to improve the health of Californians.”

“UC Health has a long history of innovation and collaboration, driving improvements in care that have benefited not only Californians but the health system at large,” said Paul Bleicher, M.D., Ph.D., CEO, OptumLabs. “We look forward to extending our research and innovation capabilities to the West Coast in collaboration with UC Health and UnitedHealthcare.”

Another result of the partnership will be an Accountable Care Organization for large, self-funded employer groups, with a primary care physician serving as a trusted advisor to each patient. UnitedHealth Group and UC Health will be working closing to coordinate care and improve overall patient experience with this model.

They will also collectively design care provider networks designed for high-risk patients that use data to manage barriers, improve same-day access, identify patient risks, and close care gaps.

“We are honored to be selected by the University of California to help implement this unique program that will integrate value-based care and the study of best clinical practices in California,” said Robert Falkenberg, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of California. “This collaboration combines UnitedHealthcare’s care provider network and UC Health with Optum’s capabilities to advance patient care into a national model for integration.”

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