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UnitedHealthcare receives technology award from Medicaid Health Plans of America’s Center for Best Practices

Unique Navajo Nation telemedicine program gives children with complex medical issues access to quality care

TUBA CITY, Arizona (July 25, 2012) – UnitedHealthcare has received the Technology Award from Medicaid Health Plans of America’s (MHPA) Center for Best Practices for its telemedicine services used to treat children with complex medical conditions on the Navajo Nation.

The program, launched by UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona, uses telemedicine technology that enables pediatric neurologists to provide medical services to children with complex health conditions like cerebral palsy and spin bifida who live in remote locations on the Navajo Nation, which comprises nearly 27,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The technology uses high-definition videoconferencing equipment with sophisticated imaging and audio to connect pediatric neurologists with patients, removing the need for children and their families to travel up to several hours to see a specialist. In addition to neurology, the telemedicine program plans to expand to include orthopedic, metabolic genetics and cardiac services.

Today there are more than 300 children with complex medical issues living on the Navajo Nation.

 

“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Navajo Nation to help ensure children living in remote areas throughout the Navajo Nation have convenient access to care closer to home,” said Don Graf, UnitedHealthcare director of Telemedicine.

The Best Practices awards, according to MHPA, are given to health plans and partner companies for innovative approaches that enhance Medicaid beneficiaries’ health and quality of life. The Technology Award is given to organizations that creatively incorporate technology into a best-practice program.  

“Each of the awards represents an aspect of health care that is key to serving the unique needs of the Medicaid population,” said Thomas L. Johnson, president and CEO of MHPA and president and founder of the Center for Best Practices. “Though all Medicaid health plans actively seek the most effective ways to deliver high-quality care, there are standouts whose programs have significantly changed people’s lives. We honor those companies to share their success so that all may benefit from their experience.”

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan’s Telemedicine Services for Medically Complex Children on the Navajo Nation program is part of UnitedHealthcare’s efforts to build a national telehealth network. UnitedHealthcare has launched telemedicine programs in New Mexico as well as Arizona and at onsite workplace clinics with employers.

About MHPA

Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) is the leading trade association solely focused on representing Medicaid health plans. MHPA provides advocacy, research and organized forums that support the development of policy solutions to enhance the delivery of quality health care. For more information, visit Medicaid Health Plans of America at http://www.mhpa.org or email at info@mhpa.org.

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 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. 


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