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Small Business Employers with 2-50 Employees Now Have Access to UnitedHealthcare’s “Charter” Plan - An Innovative, Cost-Effective Model of Care at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

Charter health plan provides access to Kelsey-Seybold's accountable care organization of primary care physicians, specialists and hospital partners. Kelsey-Seybold care providers work together to coordinate patient care, improve quality and lower costs

Houston (March 23, 2015) – UnitedHealthcare's Charter plan, is now available to small business employers with 2-50 employees with plan effective dates beginning April 1, 2015. Charter is a health benefits plan that gives Houston-area employers and their employees access to care provided by Kelsey-Seybold, the nation's first accredited accountable care organization (ACO) designed to improve care while helping to reduce costs. The product has been available to employers with more than 51 employees since last November. 

Employers that choose the Charter plan have access to Kelsey-Seybold's network of physicians who will manage all aspects of patient care, providing the right care in the right place at the right time. Employees enrolled in the plan will select a Kelsey-Seybold primary care physician who will be responsible for coordinating all of their care. Plan participants can access all Kelsey-Seybold primary care and specialty care physicians without a referral.

"Small business employers have asked for a health plan that provides access to quality care but is cost-effective," said Dave Milich, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of South Texas. "The Charter health plan answers that need and shows that quality care can lead to more affordable care, even for the small business owner." 

"We know small business employers want high quality, affordable health care for their employees and families. The Charter plan, offered through UnitedHealthcare and managed by Kelsey-Seybold physicians, will do just that," said Dr. Spencer Berthelsen, Chairman and Managing Director, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. "The cost of healthcare hits small businesses particularly hard – often making them push more costs to employees or even having to sacrifice care.  Employers in this new Charter plan can save up to 15% on total medical costs without limiting care or pushing medical cost burdens to their employees. Employees will benefit from the investments that Kelsey-Seybold has made in an electronic medical record, medical management systems, state of the art facilities, and the convenience of receiving the services they need under one roof."    

Kelsey-Seybold care providers will focus on prevention, improved coordination and well-managed care through their fully integrated multispecialty physician practice, the nation's first NCQA-Accredited Accountable Care Organization. Physicians and hospital partners can improve coordination of a patient's care and facilitate better communication with everyone involved in a patient's treatment. All Kelsey-Seybold physicians are connected to each other – and to their patients – through an electronic medical records system where each patient's critical medical information is securely accessible to all physicians on their care team.  

This means that regardless of which Kelsey doctor patients are seeing, decisions about their care and treatment are being made based on their personal medical history. Patients can access Kelsey-Seybold's secure patient portal – – to review most test results, make appointments, email their primary care physician' office and request refills on prescriptions. 

UnitedHealthcare serves more than 3.9 million Texans with a care provider network of 516 hospitals and more than 53,000 physicians statewide.

Care providers nationwide are showing a strong interest in a shift to value-based care. UnitedHealthcare's total payments to physicians and hospitals that are tied to value-based arrangements have nearly tripled in the last three years, to approximately $37 billion. By the end of 2018, UnitedHealthcare expects that figure to reach $65 billion.

For more information about UnitedHealthcare's accountable care initiatives, visit

About Kelsey-Seybold

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is Houston's premier multispecialty group practice, founded in 1949 by Dr. Mavis Kelsey in Houston's renowned Texas Medical Center. More than 850 physicians and allied health professionals practice at 40 locations in the Greater Houston area. Kelsey-Seybold offers quality medical care in 65+ medical specialties. The organization operates the largest freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center in the state of Texas and offers state-of-the-art Varian TrueBeam and Varian Edge radiation therapy technology at a nationally accredited Cancer Center. An accredited Sleep Center, comprehensive laboratory services, advanced imaging and diagnostics, 24 onsite Kelsey pharmacies and one specialty pharmacy, and MyKelseyOnline, a secure web portal, are part of its comprehensive offerings. Kelsey-Seybold partners with major insurers to offer value-based commercial health plans. KelseyCare Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan offered to Houston-area beneficiaries and affiliated with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, has achieved the coveted 5-out-of-5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for eight consecutive years.

Kelsey-Seybold has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the nation’s first accredited Accountable Care Organization and is home to a nationally accredited Breast Diagnostic Center and Endoscopy Center.

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 91. NPS is the global standard for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction. An NPS score of 70 or higher is considered by industry experts to be "world class" and an indicator of overwhelming customer loyalty.

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