The University of California and UnitedHealth Group are teaming up to form a new accountable care organization (ACO) and clinically integrated network. As part of the 10-year strategic relationship, UC Health’s five academic medical centers will expand use of Optum’s clinically integrated network services and advanced data analytics services.
UC Health Partners with Optum Labs
In addition, UC Health will become the first West Coast health care provider to partner with OptumLabs, an open, collaborative center for research and innovation focused on improving patient care and value. Founded jointly by Optum and Mayo Clinic in 2013, OptumLabs is opening a San Francisco Bay Area facility mirroring its innovative headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., to accelerate collaboration among UC Health and other constituents in the region.
OptumLabs will provide UC Health researchers with access to the largest database of de-identified, linked clinical and administrative claims information in the country, providing real-world insights that can help accelerate improvements in patient care.
Together they will examine opportunities to leverage new sources of data to incorporate the patient perspective into research and discovery efforts, which includes partnerships like-minded organizations and tech companies to push the boundaries of health care and innovation in the Silicon Valley area.
OptumLabs will also sponsor a five-year internship program to help train the next generation of health care data scientists. OptumLabs and the University of California system will provide students access to expertise and the opportunity to work at one of the five UC Health systems.
In addition, UnitedHealthcare will donate $1 million to UC Health to support programs that develop the next generation of health care data scientists and to research projects that study global health issues.
“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 of OptumLabs in a statement. “We look forward to extending our research and innovation capabilities to the West Coast in collaboration with UC Health and UnitedHealthcare.”
UC Health, United Healthcare ACO Collaboration
As part of the collaboration, UC Health and UnitedHealthcare will create an Accountable Care Organization for large self-funded employer groups, with a primary care physician serving as a trusted adviser to each patient. UnitedHealthcare and Optum will work closely with UC Health physicians to seamlessly coordinate care, improving quality, cost-effectiveness and the overall patient experience.
In addition, the organizations will collectively design clinically integrated care provider networks to improve the patient experience and promote advancements in clinical care. Clinically integrated networks can improve care for high-risk patients while expanding access for everyone by using data to manage barriers to care, improve same-day access, identify risks to patient health and close gaps in care. These networks help create more affordable and modernized health insurance products for consumers.
The new strategic relationship will also expand UnitedHealthcare’s current care provider networks. UC Health medical centers and physicians from UC Davis and UC San Diego will serve UnitedHealthcare Medi-Cal patients and join the Alliance HMO network.