Expanding Access to Care

UnitedHealth Group is committed to helping ensure every person has access to high-quality, affordable health care that meets their unique health care needs and financial means.

We are helping to connect people to care with digital tools and virtual platforms, improving access to primary care with workforce investments and leveraging a national network of 1.4 million provider relationships to help people get the right care when and where they need it.

2M+

consumer engagements through UnitedHealthcare’s GetCovered program

Our Commitment To Achieve Universal Coverage

For more than 20 years, we have advocated for policies to achieve universal coverage in the United States by strengthening and expanding existing coverage options. We believe the 29 million uninsured Americans can be covered by building upon existing, proven coverage platforms – employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage – and through modernizing exchanges, strengthening and expanding Medicaid and enabling more flexibility, competition and choice in the individual market. 

The impact of COVID-19 and the resulting economic challenges have led to an increase in the number of uninsured individuals. To help individuals who lost their employer-based health insurance coverage during this period, UnitedHealthcare launched GetCovered, a no-cost public service that provides information and resources to individuals on how to access available health insurance coverage options.

 

Connecting People To Care 

Digital capabilities are increasingly important in helping people access care. For example, we are bringing convenient, quality care to people in their home, which improves their experience and results in better health outcomes.

Virtual care platforms are delivering evidence-based care to people where and when they need it most.

We are working to expand and improve access to mental health services through Optum’s AbleTo – a virtual mental health platform that analyzes claims data – to proactively connect members to licensed behavioral health providers who develop a personalized treatment plan.

AbleTo Outcomes
  • 50% reduction in depression
  • 48% decrease in hospitalizations

Remote monitoring tools support patient care by providing clinicians with patient data that enables timely, proactive health care interventions that can improve engagement and education and collect insights on the determinants of health.

Our remote monitoring platform – Vivify – gives clinicians the ability to monitor high-risk individuals in their home and provide important home-based interventions to help improve health outcomes.

Vivify Outcomes
  • Up to 74%

    reduction in hospital readmissions
  • Up to 40%

    reduction in mortality

IMPROVING ACCESS TO PRIMARY CARE

Research shows increased access to primary care is associated with better health outcomes, a higher likelihood of receiving preventive care such as immunizations and screenings, early disease detection and treatment and better chronic disease management.

However, more than 25% of Americans do not have a primary care physician. Projected physician shortages – particularly for primary care – underscore the ongoing need to support and develop a 21st century health workforce and identify new and innovative ways for people to access primary care at a location that is convenient for them.

Primary care support in states like Nevada – where the number of active primary care physicians per capita falls below the national average – presents an important opportunity to help develop this 21st century health workforce.

The United Health Foundation provided $3 million to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Medicine to help create three community clinics and develop a course curriculum for an 18-month clerkship program to support medical students who are pursuing a career in primary care.

UNLV Program
  • 49 students graduated in 2021 with clerkship experience

Virtual primary care improves access to care in underserved areas by connecting people to a primary care physician. UnitedHealthcare members who do not have a primary care physician experience 10% higher health care costs on average. Additionally, our consumer sentiment survey results show that 26% of Americans prefer a virtual relationship with a primary care physician.

In response and to help our members, UnitedHealthcare launched its Virtual Primary Care plan in 2020 that covers basic health screenings, minor urgent care visits and appropriate chronic health conditions. These efforts have helped our members identify a designated primary care physician and we are eager to expand this program in the future.

UHC Virtual Primary Care Plan
  • 600k members in 11 markets gained access to virtual primary care

Our Commitment

85% of our members will receive preventive care services annually by 2030

About Our Commitment
Preventive care services – including routine wellness visits, cancer and other health related screenings, management of chronic conditions and vaccinations – help detect and prevent illness, disease and other health risks.

Why It’s Important
Expanding access to preventive care helps improve early disease identification and prevention, which is essential to an individual’s long-term health and well-being. As recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, preventive care such as wellness visits provides an opportunity to strengthen the patient-physician relationship by ensuring providers and their patients discuss healthy behaviors and take action to prevent illness and improve health.

How We’ll Do It
In 2019, 78% of our members received preventive care services. By partnering with and supporting our national network of 1.4 million provider relationships, we are committed to ensuring 85% of our members receive preventive care services annually by 2030. Digital tools and personalized navigational support can help people identify a care provider that meets their unique needs, and value-based care arrangements that prioritize care coordination can improve access to recommended screenings.

Potential Impact
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, evidence-based preventive services have been shown to reduce death, disability and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and influenza. Wellness visits have been shown to expand access to care through higher rates of preventive services such as depression screenings and follow-up planning, cancer screenings and vaccinations.