A managed care company says it will be giving $25 million to organizations that are trying to improve health care and health care delivery in California.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., is offering the grant program to fulfill the terms of an agreement it made with California insurance regulators when it acquired PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Cypress, Calif.

UnitedHealth says it will accept the first round of applications, for grants from $100,000 to $5 million, Aug. 27 through Oct. 12.

The company will announce the first awards in December, and then it hopes to offer 3 more proposal periods starting in January 2008, the company says.

Suitable projects should focus on ways to improve technology for safety-net providers; strengthen medical education programs in traditionally underserved communities; develop population-based preventive health strategies; support for coordinated care initiatives; or help establish or support health care information technology, UnitedHealth says.