Scott Hewitt Explains Growing Interest in ACOs Among Commercial Payers

There has been great engagement in accountable care organizations (ACOs) because ACOs offer a level of coordinated care that patients are looking for, explained Scott Hewitt, vice president, payment strategy and innovation, UnitedHealthcare.

There has been great engagement in accountable care organizations (ACOs) because ACOs offer a level of coordinated care that patients are looking for, explained Scott Hewitt, vice president, payment strategy and innovation, UnitedHealthcare.

Transcript

What success has UnitedHealthcare seen with its Nexus ACO that it expects it to continue growing?

The biggest success factor that we’ve seen with our Nexus product is the engagement and satisfaction of the members that have selected that product. They really feel that their providers care about them. They’re seeing a more coordinated level of care, and I think that’s the biggest selling point for this product—besides the price point for the employer—it’s the results that the members are seeing.

Why is interest in ACOs growing among commercial payers?

From my perspective, the reason interest is growing in ACOs is cause patients are looking for somebody to help coordinate their care. I know as a personal example, my wife several years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she had to coordinate care, or we had to coordinate the care, between the general surgeon who removed the lump between the plastic surgeon between her oncologist. It was us serving as that go-between for all these different providers making sure that tests were done making sure that results got from one physician to another.

Whereas with an ACO, if that ACO is truly performing at its optimal capabilities, they’re going to coordinate that care for the member, they’re going to make them member feel supported, which I think employers are looking for when employers are trying to decide: where do we want our members to get their care? Where do we want our members to experience care? They’re coming to payers like UnitedHealthcare that offer just such an experience.