UNC Health Care today announced it has formed an operational and strategic partnership with Alignment Healthcare for population health management. The partnership will kick off with the offering of a new Medicare Advantage HMO plan for seniors in Wake County, North Carolina.

“By partnering with Alignment, community physicians, and insurance providers, we are creating a new model for care that will improve health care for Wake County seniors and provide peace of mind to families knowing their loved ones are receiving high quality care,” said Dr. Allen Daugird, President, UNC Physicians Network and UNC Health Care’s chief value officer. “This program offers a new type of health plan that will improve patient outcomes, increase quality of care, and reduce costs by tapping into UNC Health Care’s broad network of providers and depth of clinical expertise.”

To care for the seniors who enroll in the new plan, a select network of providers and hospitals will be available to members. UNC Health Care – including UNC Physician Network, UNC Faculty Physicians and Rex-employed specialists, Rex Hospital, and UNC Hospitals – will serve as the foundation of the provider network, while select, high- quality community providers will also be in the network to ensure seniors have access to a full continuum of care close to home.

With Medicare Advantage, patients enjoy more benefits from an advanced clinical model that will help improve outcomes and reduce overall costs. Of the approximately 113,000 Medicare-eligible seniors living in Wake County, about 30 percent (or 34,000 individuals) are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, including all North Carolina State Health Plan retirees who reside in the county. Medicare enrollees can review their options in October of this year and begin to receive care in January of 2015.

“Our intent is to provide the highest quality care to our seniors to improve their health while reducing their total cost of care. We aim to partner with our seniors and their families to do this,” said Daugird. “The clinical care model will tailor care for patients to improve outcomes and quality. For example, by identifying patients with chronic health problems, providers can pro-actively work with them to keep them out of the hospital and improve their overall health.”

Alignment Healthcare is a new, highly scalable and fully integrated care coordination solution for population health management. The Irvine, California-based company is led by respected leaders with more than 200 years combined experience in managed care, clinical care coordination and post-acute care. Earlier this year, Alignment secured a $125 million commitment from global growth equity firm General Atlantic to better enable it to fully expand its operational model, strengthen its service platforms, and initiate expansion into new markets across the country, including Wake County.

“Our strategic partnership with UNC Health Care and the ability to provide an unrivaled care coordination model to the eligible seniors in Wake County will create an new care standard in North Carolina,” said Dr. Hyong (Ken) Kim, chief medical officer, Alignment Healthcare. “UNC is a like-minded partner who wants to improve its corner of the US healthcare system. Our program enables integration by creating alignment across all parties so that the consumer’s healthcare experience and clinical outcome both improve. Together, UNC and Alignment are connecting the dots of population-based management – one patient at a time. “

Through its end-to-end continuous care program, information technology, enablement expertise, and risk management capabilities, Alignment helps provider and payor organizations better serve their patients and members. Using Alignment’s care model and enablement tools, provider organizations, including hospitals, health systems, Independent Practice Associations and physician groups, are better equipped to take on risk and embrace the opportunities of value-based care. “Everyone benefits with this plan and we have a more healthy community as a result,” added Dr. Daugird. “Over time we hope to replicate this plan to care for other populations across the state, thus furthering our mission of caring for all North Carolinians.”