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YourCare expands health care partnership with GBUACO

YourCare Health Plan and the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization this month extended their health care partnership another three years.

Rochester-based YourCare became the first Safety-Net health plan to contract with a Medicaid Accountable Care Organization in September 2016, a value-based contract agreement designed to cut costs and improve care for those on Medicaid.

In this kind of system, health care provider payments are more directly aligned with delivering care in a way that improves outcomes while reducing medical expenses. Providers and payers collaborate in a proactive approach to prevent disease, address transportation, housing and related needs – the so-called “social determinants of health” – and place an emphasis on education and medication compliance in a comprehensive effort to minimize expensive emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

GBUACO doctors and health care providers have to meet clearly defined quality standards that focus on prevention and effectively manage patients with chronic diseases.

The main focus of the YourCare/GBUACO collaboration is to improve health care quality for low-income, vulnerable populations in the region. Through GBUACO, patients receive several benefits: a more significant role in guiding their own care; better coordinated care due to strengthened communication and shared goals between caregivers and the payer; and a reduction in costs.

“The collaboration ... means YourCare patients will receive the medical assistance they deserve to keep them healthy,” said GBUACO CEO Dr. Raul Vazquez, who leads a West Side family medical practice. “GBUACO and YourCare have pioneered how these types of collaborative arrangements between health plans, independent providers, and hospital systems can work in New York State.”

For more information on free or low-cost health insurance options, prospective members may visit the YourCare enrollment office, 446 Main St., near Lafayette Square, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or call 866-273-6121.

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