Innovative relationship will combine strengths of both organizations to enhance health and well-being for thousands of area residents
Villagers and other beneficiaries in Central Florida to have access to primary care at patient-centered medical homes as well as personalized support at UnitedHealthcare MedicareStores
MINNETONKA, Minn., and THE VILLAGES, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2013) - The largest company dedicated to meeting the health and well-being needs of Medicare beneficiaries and the largest retirement community in the country have formed an exclusive relationship designed to create additional health benefit options and facilitate coordinated, comprehensive care at a new patient-centered health system for Medicare consumers.
Under an agreement between UnitedHealthcare and The Villages Health, people who reside at The Villages and other nearby communities and who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan offered by UnitedHealthcare or its affiliate Preferred Care Partners will have exclusive access to care at a network of primary care clinics in development at The Villages. UnitedHealthcare and Preferred Care will be the only Medicare Advantage plans that will be accepted at The Villages Health clinics.
With the goal of creating a health system with primary care at its core, The Villages Health will provide modern, patient-centric, coordinated care in a convenient neighborhood setting for the older adults who live in The Villages and others who live in surrounding communities. The Villages Health collaboration with UnitedHealthcare is designed to improve the continuity, quality and coordination of primary care for patients.
"Our growing health care system will allow us to offer the kind of quality, patient-centered care that will keep Villagers healthy. When our system is finished, that care will be just a golf-car-ride away for all Villagers," said Gary Morse, CEO, The Villages. "We have the right partner in UnitedHealthcare to help us as we build this system, and we look forward to creating not just America's Happiest Hometown but also America's Healthiest Hometown."
UnitedHealthcare, under a separate agreement with The Villages, intends to expand its portfolio of Medicare plan options and enhance its customer service at UnitedHealthcare MedicareStores throughout The Villages community.
The Villages is an active retirement community that redefines retirement living by offering the best in homes, lifestyle and amenities for its residents. It is home to people from all 50 states as well as 14 countries and is the fastest-growing planned community in the United States, spanning three counties in Central Florida and with a population approaching 100,000.
Serving nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare is the largest provider of Medicare Advantage, Medicare supplement and Part D prescription drug plans.
The Villages Health: An Innovative Patient-Centered Health System
The Villages is embarking on a long-term commitment to create The Villages Health, a physician-led, patient-centered, holistic medical home for Villages residents. The company opened its first Villages Health Care Center in late 2012, with six additional primary care centers and a specialty clinic in development. Each health care center will be staffed with eight primary care physicians and a supporting care team. The model aims to encourage long-term relationships between Villagers and their physicians.
All Villages Health physicians will be board-certified primary care physicians eligible for academic appointments at the University of South Florida's (USF) Morsani College of Medicine. The Villages' partnership with USF Health, a world-class research university, brings modern science, health resources and ongoing learning opportunities to Villagers as well as Villages health care providers. USF Health will also be responsible for providing coordinated and integrated specialty care at The Villages Health.
An electronic medical record system will help physicians coordinate patients' care received at the health care centers and The Villages Regional Hospital, avoiding duplication of tests and procedures and enabling Villages physicians to work together more effectively to improve health outcomes. The expected result is better management of Villagers' health and medical care and better control of patient out-of-pocket costs.
"While the health system we're building is unique in many ways, what sets it apart is the bold decision to dramatically strengthen the primary care component of the system, which is seen in the limited size of patient panels for primary care doctors," said Elliot Sussman, M.D., MBA, chair of The Villages Health and former chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges. "There are many ideas to solve the health care crisis in the United States. We believe that success will occur only if we rewrite the book on primary care, and we're excited about the progress we're making toward that goal at The Villages."
"As The Villages Health develops this innovative model of comprehensive, community-based care, we look forward to applying our expertise in designing benefits that are popular with consumers, as well as our diverse capabilities in data and analytics, wellness, prevention and member engagement," said Reed Tuckson, M.D., chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group. "Taken together, we believe our relationship with The Villages has the potential to make a meaningful impact on health outcomes for thousands of people by facilitating the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care."
In addition to UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members, Villagers and others in surrounding communities enrolled in Original Medicare and/or Medicare supplement plans will have access to care at The Villages Health.
Residents and physicians interested in learning more about The Villages Health are encouraged to visit www.TheVillagesHealth.com for more information.
MedicareStores Will Offer Villagers Convenient Access to High-Quality Medicare Products and Other Personalized Support
Villagers and others in surrounding communities will have more opportunities to learn about UnitedHealthcare's full portfolio of Medicare plans at new UnitedHealthcare MedicareStores to be located throughout the community.
"With more than three decades of experience providing Medicare plans, we're confident we have the expertise necessary to provide a leading-edge health care coverage and service experience for Medicare beneficiaries who call The Villages their home," said Jack Larsen, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. "We look forward to helping Villagers find the Medicare coverage that will give them the peace of mind necessary to fully enjoy their retirement."
The UnitedHealthcare MedicareStores will provide a convenient option for Villagers and others who have questions about their Medicare coverage, including the 4,000 new Medicare-eligible residents who are expected to move to The Villages this year. People who visit the stores can receive personalized, one-on-one support, whether they are looking to learn more about how Medicare works or are interested in enrolling in a plan.
While all Villagers can visit the stores for one-stop access to educational resources and enrollment support, they're expected to be especially beneficial for the nearly 3,700 Villagers who will turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare in 2013. These Villagers are among the baby boomers who are reaching Medicare eligibility at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next decade. At the store, licensed agents can help them understand their options during their Initial Enrollment Period, which is the seven-month enrollment window for people who are becoming newly eligible for Medicare.*
Store personnel can help people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans with a variety of needs, including locating preferred and in-network pharmacies where they can save money on their prescription drugs and connecting members with customer service representatives who can answer questions about their coverage.
UnitedHealthcare will use the stores as a community meeting space for educational and enrollment presentations throughout the year. Sessions on a variety of health and wellness topics, such as managing prescription drug costs, living with diabetes and hearing health, are planned.
More information about UnitedHealthcare's portfolio of Medicare plans is available at www.UHCMedicarePlans.com. More information about The Villages is available at www.TheVillages.com.
About The Villages
The Villages is the nation's leading active retirement community. Located in central Florida, west of Orlando, America's "Friendliest Hometown" has more than 93,000 residents, a population that's expected to increase by 5,000 in 2013. Villagers enjoy 540 holes of golf (by far, the largest golf community in the world), more than 1,800 resident clubs and a whole array of other amenities at recreation centers located throughout the community. Add in shopping, dining, medical and professional services, and residents of The Villages have everything they need to live life to the fullest just a golf-car-ride away in a beautifully designed and gated community.
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 and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.