UnitedHealthcare Provides $20 Million in Technology Investments to Improve Patient Care in Rural Communities Throughout

  UnitedHealthcare Provides $20 Million in Technology Investments to Improve
  Patient Care in Rural Communities Throughout California

    Eleven rural hospitals in nine counties benefit from UnitedHealthcare
  investments that will strengthen health information technology, including
           electronic medical records for patients in remote areas

Business Wire

CONCORD, Calif. -- October 02, 2012

UnitedHealthcare has provided $20 million in financing to help 11 Critical
Access Hospitals in rural communities throughout California improve health
information technology (IT) systems, including the adoption of electronic
health records.

The announcement was made during a statewide rural health conference in Lake
Tahoe (Rural Health Conference 2012: Rural Medicine in the 21^st Century)
where health care leaders and medical professionals from throughout California
gathered to discuss rural health issues including clinical best practices, use
of technology to improve delivery of care in rural areas, wellness promotion
strategies and electronic medical records.

The 11 hospitals selected for funding comprise California’s Critical Access
Hospitals, which are located in remote areas of the state. These health
facilities have a maximum of 25 beds and are located at least 35 miles from
another hospital, or 15 miles from another facility and in mountainous terrain
or areas with only secondary roads.

UnitedHealthcare purchased the 11 hospitals’ private placement bonds worth
$19.4 million with a flexible repayment plan that includes a rebate of up to
10 percent for early repayment. UnitedHealthcare also provided $577,000 in
grants to pay for additional financing costs. Earlier, UnitedHealthcare
provided $200,000 in grants to the California State Rural Health Association
(CSRHA) to assess IT needs at California’s Critical Access Hospitals, for a
total financial support of $20 million.

The funds were made through UnitedHealthcare’s California Health Care
Investment Program, a 20-year, $200 million commitment to health care
organizations that provide services to underserved, low-income and
underinsured communities and populations throughout California. To date,
UnitedHealthcare has exceeded the commitment, providing $266 million in total
investments to 45 health care organizations throughout the state.

The 11 hospitals include: Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Mendocino
County ($2.5 million); Trinity Hospital in Trinity County ($1.7 million);
Plumas Health Care District ($1.5 million) and Seneca Healthcare District
($1.6 million) in Plumas County; John C. Fremont Healthcare District in
Mariposa County ($2 million); Last Frontier Healthcare District ($1.6 million)
and Surprise Valley Health Care District ($800,000) in Modoc County; Mayers
Memorial Hospital District in Shasta County ($2 million); Kern Valley
Healthcare District in Kern County ($1.5 million); Southern Inyo Healthcare
District in Inyo County ($1.7 million); and Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital in
Butte County ($2.5 million).

“With this critical funding from UnitedHealthcare, patients in these remote
areas will have access to much of the same quality of care and technological
advancements benefiting people who live in more populated areas of the state,”
said Raymond Hino, chairman of the California Critical Access Hospital Network
Advisory Board and CEO of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital. “These
investments are helping improve patient care by transforming our health care
delivery systems through the use of technology and electronic medical
records.”

“We are very grateful for this investment that is helping improve our ability
to provide better access to patient medical records and improve their quality
of care, particularly in emergency situations,” said Tim McGlew, CEO of Kern
Valley Healthcare District, which received $1.5 million in funding. “Without
these resources, we would not have been able to upgrade and implement our
electronic medical records initiative, which is improving the quality of care
and access to medical records to better care for our patients.”

Along with the California State Rural Health Association, UnitedHealthcare
worked with the California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) and the
California Rural eHealth Information Network (CAReHIN), in assessing the IT
needs at these hospitals and providing recommendations on which facilities had
the greatest need for the technology improvements.

“CSRHA is proud to be a part of this collaboration with UnitedHealthcare,
linking rural California with the latest technology available to promote
healthy communities,” said Steve Barrow, executive director of the California
State Rural Health Association. “The interests of rural people must not be
lost or dismissed because of distance, geographic isolation and lack of
concentrated resources. UnitedHealthcare understands these important issues
and through their funding is helping improve the health of rural Californians
and the quality and accessibility of the health care they receive.”

“UnitedHealthcare is continuing its commitment to invest in California’s
health care infrastructure and ensure that all Californians have access to
care,” said Dan Rosenthal, West Region CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer &
Individual. “We’re grateful to play a role in improving the health and
well-being of so many communities served by Critical Access Hospitals. It is
important that they have access to technology that will enable them to deliver
quality care to their patients.”

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, serves more than
2.3 million Californians with a care provider network of 323 hospitals and
more than 47,400 physicians statewide. The company has been actively engaged
in helping to improve Californians’ access to quality health care. In addition
to the $21 million in funding for Critical Access Hospitals, UnitedHealthcare
has provided $1.3 million in grants to the California Telehealth Network to
help expand telemedicine in rural and medically underserved clinics and
hospitals throughout the state.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealth Group 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
more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals
nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of
the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50
health and well-being company.

Contact:

UnitedHealthcare
Matthew Yi, 714-226-3842
matthew.yi@uhc.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.