UnitedHealthcare, Business Health Care Group: New health benefits program to improve value of care for greater Milwaukee-area employers

Contact: Tony Marusic


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New Health Benefits Program from UnitedHealthcare, Business Health Care Group to Improve Value of Care for Greater Milwaukee-Area Employers

Two driving forces in health care benefit improvement strategically aligned
to promote relevant quality and price information to improve care, control costs

MILWAUKEE (Jan. 14, 2015) –UnitedHealthcare and the Business Health Care Group (BHCG) of southeast Wisconsin today announced a multiyear relationship to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health benefits to employers in the greater Milwaukee area.

Effective Jan. 1, 2016, UnitedHealthcare will be the exclusive provider of health benefits for the BHCG. The UnitedHealthcare offerings will help employees obtain care from physicians and facilities that meet or exceed specific, independent quality of care and cost-efficiency standards. These types of programs have been proven to improve health care quality and reduce cost trends.

For example, UnitedHealthcare plan participants using these premium care physicians on a national basis have experienced 41 percent fewer repeat orthopedic procedures. Overall, UnitedHealthcare plan participants have experienced 16 percent lower episodic costs than non-designated network physicians, improving their quality of life and saving themselves and their employer significant amounts of medical cost.

UnitedHealthcare will provide comprehensive administrative services to BHCG employers, provide consumers access to UnitedHealthcare’s broad network of hospitals and physicians, and offer BHCG members dedicated services and community resources. Certain UnitedHealthcare products will be promoted to BHCG member employers in the following 11-county area: Dodge, Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.

BHCG was formed in 2003 by several large Milwaukee-based employers concerned about rising health care costs in southeast Wisconsin. These employers sought to develop a common strategy to address quality and costs of health care. Today, more than 1,000 southeastern Wisconsin businesses of all sizes representing more than 70,000 employees participate in the BHCG.

“In light of our goals which focus on health care value for our employer members and their employees, it became clear that UnitedHealthcare was the best administrative partner option for the BHCG going forward,” said Dianne Kiehl, BHCG executive director. “Our partnership will deliver innovative benefit plans that help meet our goals of driving improvement in both quality and cost.”

Many BHCG member employers require national coverage, and this partnership will give their employees one consistent solution across all of their locations. UnitedHealthcare will offer nationally proven programs to help BHCG members’ employees and dependents with their health care decisions. These programs align with and support the objective of helping people get to the best source of care for their condition. They include easy-to-use tools to help consumers better understand quality metrics and health care costs, such as myHealthcare Cost Estimator, which allows people to comparison shop online for health care services based on quality, cost and actual contracted rates, wherever they need care.

“UnitedHealthcare understands southeastern Wisconsin’s distinctive needs, traditions and market structure, and is uniquely positioned to support the health and well-being of BHCG member employers and their employees,” said Dustin Hinton, president and CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin, which serves more than 1.4 million people in Wisconsin. “Providing products and services that give people relevant and transparent quality and price information is a critical element in a strategy to address health care delivery and cost. Surrounding those offerings with cutting-edge resources that engage, inform, educate and motivate makes the strategy actionable and useful for consumers. We look forward to partnering with the BHCG to give member businesses and their employees access to quality, cost-effective care.”

“The BHCG is taking the next step in supporting accountability for both the buyer and seller of health care services,” Kiehl said. “The BHCG will continue its mission to increase health care value in southeast Wisconsin by optimizing the performance of all stakeholders in the market. Our partnership with UnitedHealthcare will provide BHCG employer members with unique capabilities and resources to measure and improve performance for both consumers and providers of health care.”

“In this era of evolving health care market changes, we believe our way forward is through a balanced approach that places equal emphasis on employees taking an active role in their health and health care decisions and on providers continuing to increase the transparency of quality and cost information,” said Keith Nosbusch, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Rockwell Automation, a founding member of the BHCG. “As a group, we look forward to working with UnitedHealthcare to empower employees and drive our health care system from volume to value.”

About Business Health Care Group

The Business Health Care Group is a membership organization of more than 1,000 employers in the 11-county region of southeast Wisconsin. The BHCG and its members share the common goals of moving the health care market through innovative action and partnering for effective change. Visit www.businesshealthcaregroup.org to learn more.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.co or follow @myUHC on Twitter.