Frequently Asked Questions
What is CareUnity?
CareUnity of Spokane County is a joint venture Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) between Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington (Kaiser Permanente) and Providence Health Care to form an integrated delivery network. That’s the formal definition. Our purpose is more exciting: To offer the community an accountable care organization dedicated to enhancing patient health and reducing the overall cost of care.
Just what is an accountable care organization (ACO)?
An ACO is a group of doctors, hospitals, and other care providers that agrees to be accountable for the quality, cost, and overall health of a set of patients by coordinating efforts across the care continuum. Operated correctly, ACOs benefit all constituencies of the health care industry—payers, providers, and patients.
Why should a business offer CareUnity?
For employers that plan to self-fund their employee health care—or that are looking for a high-performance provider network—CareUnity offers a ready-made system of coordinated care among doctors, hospitals and extended care services. With doctors from Washington Permanente Medical Group and Providence Medical Group, CareUnity offers employees the largest physician organization from which to choose in the Spokane area.
Why should an insurer or carrier offer CareUnity?
As an ACO, CareUnity gives insurers a high-performing, coordinated system of care featuring two of the most respected health care organizations in the Spokane region—Kaiser Permanente and Providence Health Care. CareUnity is currently contracted with the following carriers: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, Molina Health Care, and Providence Health Plan.
How many physicians are included in this new organization?
Altogether, CareUnity includes access to more than 600 physicians and advanced practitioners, located at clinics, urgent care centers, and hospitals throughout Spokane County. In addition to doctors from Washington Permanente Medical Group and Providence Medical Group, CareUnity also includes access to three of the area’s most-honored facilities: Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, and Holy Family Hospital.
Will CareUnity be expanding its team of participating providers?
Yes, we’re looking to add more physicians as long as they are committed to the principles of participation.
Is CareUnity only available through Kaiser Permanente plans?
No. While CareUnity is offered as part of Kaiser Permanente’s Core, Access PPO, and Elect PPO plans in Spokane County, it’s also available to employers as a standalone offering. Companies and organizations looking for a high-performing, private ACO can contact us directly. If a larger provider choice is required for your population, CareUnity might be offered as a “Tier 1” option with incentives to use it. Employers might also ask their insurers to add CareUnity to a customized health plan. Our intent is to make the CareUnity ACO available to all health plans and purchasers of health care in Spokane.
Is CareUnity open to contracting with additional commercial insurers?
Health carriers will be able to contract with CareUnity to provide a high-performing, private ACO for group accounts or as part of current plan provider networks. Additionally, this means that Kaiser Permanente medical offices in Spokane will be available for patients with insurance other than Kaiser Permanente.