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Commitment to Quality Leads to a UniNet – CMS Partnership

UniNet is the only Accountable Care Organization in Nebraska or Iowa chosen as CMS Partner

(OMAHA, Neb.) - Moving ahead with its efforts to improve the quality and safety of care available to people with Medicare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that Omaha-based UniNet Healthcare Network would be joining 29 other organizations in the country as part of the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP). These organizations will support high-risk Medicare beneficiaries as they transition from the hospital to other care settings.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with CMS and expand our services to all Medicare patients in our area,” said Ann Oasan, executive director of UniNet. “We have had great experience helping patients transition out of the hospital, which will serve us well in our work with CMS.”

UniNet worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) on a discharge transitions program that reduced by 15 percent the rate of preventable readmissions to the hospital within 30 days of going home. That number fell well below expected rates based on patient risk and the performance of other hospitals. According to Medicare statistics, one-in-five patients discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days.

The CCTP program is designed specifically to support high-risk Medicare patients following their discharge from the hospital. As a CMS partner, UniNet will work with five local hospitals – Alegent Health Bergan Mercy, Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center, Alegent Health Lakeside Hospital, Alegent Health Mercy Hospital and Alegent Health Midlands Hospital – to provide support for patients as they leave the hospital. The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA) will assist with home visits and the Nursing Home Network will work with patients discharged to Skilled Nursing or Long term care facilities. All programs are designed to provide follow-up with patients answering their questions, ensuring medications are being taken and assuring they stay in contact with their doctors.

In total, CMS’ announcement today will support more than 126 local hospitals and help more than 223,000 Medicare beneficiaries in 19 states across the country.

“We are very excited to have these 23 sites join our efforts to improve opportunities for patients to continue to make gains after they leave the hospital,” said Marilyn Tavenner, CMS Acting Administrator. “I’ve seen the very real difference that support from organizations like our partners in the Community-based Care Transitions Program can make in people’s post-hospital care and their health.”

CCTP is part of the Partnership for Patients, a public-private partnership aiming to cut preventable errors in hospitals by 40 percent and reduce preventable hospital readmissions by 20 percent over a three-year period.

As part of the two-year agreement with the CMS Innovation Center, UniNet, along with the other organizations, will be paid a flat fee for helping to coordinate patient care after their hospital stay.

About UniNet
UniNet Healthcare Network is a not-for-profit Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) providing managed care services to 11 hospitals in Nebraska and Iowa and more than 1,400 physicians, midlevel providers and ancillaries. The organization is clinically integrating medical care providers by promoting superior quality, safety and efficiency for our communities. For more information on UniNet, go to