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UnitedHealthcare adds three CNY counties to managed long-term care plan

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Community Plan of New York announced it is offering health plans that provide access to home- and community-based services, enabling people in eight Upstate counties to stay in their homes longer.

The counties include Onondaga, Oneida, and Broome, UHC said in a May 12 news release.

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan is the Medicaid arm of UnitedHealthcare, offering Medicaid products, such as Medicaid managed care, says Linda Goldsworthy, senior director of the upstate New York market based in the UHC office in DeWitt.

She spoke with the Business Journal News Network in a phone conversation on May 21.

The UnitedHealthcare Personal Assist managed long-term care (MLTC) plan is now available in 13 New York counties. UHC already offers the MLTC plan in the five counties of New York City, the health carrier said.

“We’ve expanded into upstate New York for Medicaid over the past … three years, so now we’ve felt that … it was time to move the MLTC product to the Upstate market and focus … on counties that have the largest population for managed long-term care,” Goldsworthy says.

UnitedHealthcare Personal Assist includes home health care and nursing-home care, social day care, ancillary and ambulatory services, and nonemergency medical transportation.

Each member is assigned a care coordinator to help individuals manage their chronic conditions, assess their ongoing needs, and make necessary changes to improve their “functionality” and quality of life, UHC said.

“It’s intended to help folks stay at home and remain safely at home rather than go into a nursing home,” says Goldsworthy.

The plan seeks to help people who want to live independently despite their health issues, Pat Celli, president of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New York, said in the news release.

“Our MLTC care-coordination model helps support and manage the needs of chronically ill, disabled and/or frail and elderly across the country. We look forward to bringing that same level of hands-on care to individuals here in New York to help support their unique health needs,” Celli said.

UnitedHealthcare Personal Assist provides supplemental health-care support beyond what traditional Medicare and/or Medicaid provide, according to UHC.

People who enroll in the plan will need to maintain their Medicare and/or Medicaid plans to cover acute-care services, including doctor’s visits, inpatient-hospital stays, drugs, and laboratory tests, UHC said.

The announcement adds to the health-carrier’s recent expansion efforts.

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Community Plan on March 4 announced it added four additional upstate New York counties to its service area for Medicaid Managed Care and Family Health Plus.

The addition of Lewis, Seneca, Wayne, and Ontario counties brings the number of New York counties in the service area for UHC Community Plan to 38, the health insurer said in its March 4 news release.

Medicaid Managed Care and Family Health Plus are state-government sponsored health-insurance programs, UHC added.

UnitedHealthcare, a business of Minnetonka, Minn.–based UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE: UNH), serves nearly 4 million New York residents with a care-provider network of 232 hospitals and more than 58,000 physicians and other health-care professionals statewide, the company said.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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