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Rachelle Khalaf
Manager, Media Relations
MEDIA: 713-442-4919
General Inquiries: 713-442-0000
For Immediate Release

UnitedHealthcare Charter Plan Announcement

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

HOUSTON (Nov. 6 , 2014) – UnitedHealthcare is introducing Charter, a new 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.

Employers that choose the Charter plan have access to Kelsey-Seybold's network of physicians and hospital partners, who will manage all aspects of patient care, providing the right care in the right place at the right time.

Charter is available to employers with 51 plus employees with plan effective dates beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and small employers with 2-50 employees with plan effective dates beginning April 1, 2015. 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.

"Houston-area employers have asked us for a health plan that provides access to quality care but is cost-effective," said Dave Milich, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of South Texas. "UnitedHealthcare's new Charter plan answers that need and shows that quality care can often be more affordable care. We look forward to providing Houston-area employers and consumers access to Kelsey-Seybold's distinctive care model that improves quality and reduces costs."

"Kelsey-Seybold Clinic has a long history of working collaboratively with UnitedHealthcare, and this new plan gives us the opportunity to work even more closely together," said Spencer Berthelsen, chairman and managing director, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. "The new Charter health plan is another way we will help improve coordination of care for patients in the Houston area while lowering employers' medical costs."

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.

Kelsey-Seybold 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 520 hospitals and more than 52,000 physicians statewide.

Nationwide, nearly $35 billion of UnitedHealthcare's annual physician and hospital reimbursements are tied to accountable care programs, centers of excellence and performance-based programs. The company projects this will reach $65 billion by 2018. For more information about UnitedHealthcare's accountable care initiatives, visit

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare 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, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

About Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is Houston's premier multispecialty group practice, founded in 1949 by Dr. Mavis Kelsey in Houston's famous Texas Medical Center. More than 400 physicians and allied health professionals practice at 20 locations and an accredited Sleep Center in the Greater Houston area. Medical services offered by Kelsey-Seybold include medical care in 55 medical specialties, including primary care and specialty care, outpatient surgery centers, an accredited Sleep Center, a Radiation Therapy Center, laboratory services, advanced radiology services and other diagnostic services, 15 onsite Kelsey pharmacies, and a secure web portal for patients to communicate with their Kelsey-Seybold doctors, get test results, and schedule appointments. Patients enrolled in a KelseyCare health benefits plan have access to Virtual Health managed by Kelsey-Seybold providers, including E-Visits and Video Visits.

Kelsey-Seybold has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the nation’s first accredited Accountable Care Organization and a Level 3 (highest) Patient-Centered Medical Home. Kelsey-Seybold has many physicians in the Greater Houston area certified for excellence in diabetes and heart and stroke care by the NCQA. In 2018, KelseyCare Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan affiliated with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, was awarded a 5-out-of-5 star rating by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the third year in a row. In addition to these recognitions, Kelsey-Seybold is home to a nationally accredited Breast Diagnostic Center, Endoscopy Center, Infusion Center and Cancer Center.