UHC is pleased to introduce the UHC Research Institute™, an innovative program designed to provide the knowledge and insights its academic medical center (AMC) members need to lead the way in improving our nation's health care delivery system. The UHC Research Institute is composed of two centers offering a unique approach to prioritizing and delivering actionable health care solutions: the Center for Economic Research and Strategy and the Center for Innovation and Clinical Effectiveness. The complementary centers address two critical needs of UHC's AMC members: improving effectiveness and efficiency in clinical care, particularly related to unnecessary variation in care, and demonstrating value in care delivery that results in tangible points of market differentiation. "The UHC Research Institute™ offers a systematic and integrated approach to driving measurable value for UHC members by supporting their work to redesign and improve the delivery of patient care," states Irene M. Thompson , UHC president and chief executive officer.
The Center for Economic Research and Strategy, led by UHC senior vice president Tom Robertson , will incorporate the strategic exploration UHC has conducted for almost 20 years, but with an expanded and newly aligned focus on discovering ways in which AMCs can lead a national movement toward more effective and efficient care delivery. This Center will help shape applied health services research agendas by identifying and prioritizing opportunities, and advancing experimentation at the provider/payer and provider/provider interfaces to support AMC enterprises, particularly in their work to diagnose and treat complex illnesses.
The Center for Innovation and Clinical Effectiveness, directed by UHC senior vice president and chief clinical officer, Richard Lofgren , MD, will conduct applied health services research, with experimentation occurring at the point of patient care within UHC's member institutions. By harnessing the knowledge and expertise of UHC members and the expert teams of physicians, caregivers and operational leaders who directly influence the care delivery process, this Center will test hypotheses and bring the most effective, proven methods to the forefront for adoption across AMCs nationally. Proposed projects will undergo a disciplined review process to assess their potential value, immediate impact, and cost/benefit relationship.
Several key partners will be engaged in the UHC Research Institute™'s work: first and foremost, UHC members─ including administrators, physician leaders, nurses, pharmacists, and other clinical and operational experts in AMC settings, children's hospitals and other leading complex health care organizations throughout the United States. A multidisciplinary advisory board comprised of member representatives and selected external stakeholders will offer guidance in setting the institute's research agenda and supporting its work. Additional partnerships are anticipated with payers and employers as AMCs continue to advance their unique role in diagnosing and treating complex illnesses and medical needs.
Irene Thompson further describes how the institute aims to distinguish itself, "During this period of unprecedented change in the health care industry, AMC administrators, physicians, and other clinical and operational leaders are charged with the responsibility to shape a sustainable health care system capable of providing high-quality, accessible, and affordable care. The UHC Research Institute™ uniquely combines economics, strategy and clinical application as it investigates high-priority issues with the potential for immediate, real-time applicability to AMC clinical enterprises. The proven and practical solutions that result from this program will equate to lasting value for our country's health care delivery system and our members."