Working Together to Best Serve Our Patients, Members and the Community
UW Health, UnityPoint Health - Meriter, UnityPoint Health, Physicians Plus Insurance Corp., Unity Health Insurance Plans Corp. and Gundersen Health Plan are deeply committed to greater choice in care and to providing the highest quality of care.
With a long and successful history of working together to deliver superior care, further collaboration between UW Health and UnityPoint Health - Meriter is a commonsense next step for us.
Please watch our Briefing series newsletters and this page for continued updates.
What is being announced?
UnityPoint Health - Meriter, UnityPoint Health, UW Health, Physicians Plus Insurance Corp., Unity Health Plans Insurance Corp. and Gundersen Health Plan are announcing two important milestones in their plans for formal collaboration between the organizations.
- The organizations have signed a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) for health care providers and facilities and an Exchange Agreement on the insurance side with the aim of better serving patients and members
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has concluded the federal regulatory review, clearing the way for closing, pending state regulatory review by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI)
What does this announcement mean?
The completion of these two steps means that we are entering the final phase toward formal collaboration. We hope to conclude the steps necessary to cement our collaborations this summer 2017, including review and approvals from state insurance regulators. Nothing changes for patients, employees or members at this time.
Why are the organizations collaborating?
For UW Health and UnityPoint Health - Meriter, this is a commonsense next step in our long-standing relationship to deliver excellent care. For Unity and Gundersen Health Plan and Physicians Plus, we recognize that in order to provide the products and services that meet the needs of our customers on a sustainable basis, we need to come together. Given today’s evolving health care landscape, collaboration is the best thing for those we serve.
How is this different from the way that UW Health and UnityPoint Health - Meriter work together now?
The joint operating agreement envisions a financial alignment of UW Health and UnityPoint Health - Meriter in a way that allows for use of collective resources to their fullest and most beneficial extent for the community. Through this more formal alignment, our physicians can increase access to care for patients and further build a smart, efficient delivery system that optimizes the best of both organizations and cares for patients when and where they need care.
Does anything change for current patients of either organization?
Nothing changes today for patients of either UW Health or UnityPoint Health, or for members of Unity and Gundersen Health Plan or Physicians Plus. Our intent is to increase access to care for patients, and to best meet the growing health care needs of our community by investing in programs and services that strengthen the quality and value of our patient care.
How will this control costs?
Collaboration between both UW Health and UnityPoint Health - Meriter, and UW Health, as well as Unity and Gundersen Health and Plan Physicians Plus, makes the best use of scarce resources and allows for the sharing of best practices to more effectively manage our organizations.
Will UnityPoint Health - Meriter doctors, clinics and services be fully available to Unity and Gundersen Health Plan members?
Yes. If these collaborations are finalized, the combination of Physicians Plus and Unity and Gundersen Health Plan would increase access to Unity and Gundersen Health Plan members and also potentially increase the patient population UnityPoint Health - Meriter physicians serve.
When will the expanded network for the combined insurance entity be available? (i.e. When will Meriter doctors be “in-network” for Unity members?)
Pending closing this summer, we anticipate the broader network options of the combined insurance entities will be available on or before January 1, 2018.
What happens next?
We hope to conclude the steps necessary to cement our collaborations this summer 2017, including state regulatory review by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.
How do I stay updated?
We are committed to keeping our employees, physicians and the community informed throughout this process. One of the ways we’ll do this is through this regular updates in our Briefings emails and this U-Connect site. There will be many opportunities for input from physicians and other providers, employees and the Madison community as this process continues. We look forward to engaging in a dialogue over the coming months.
UW Health: Senior Leadership
UnityPoint Health-Meriter: Senior Leadership
Mission, Vision and Values
UW Health: Mission, Vision and Values
UnityPoint Health - Meriter: Mission
UW Health: Strategic Plan
Update: UW Health and UnityPoint Health-Meriter Joint Operating Agreement