UNITED HEALTHCARE CASE STUDY 7
UNITED HEALTHCARE-CASE STUDY
United Healthcare-Case Study
Readiness for health needs in the coming decade.
The United Healthcare group was created in1977 in Minnesota’s Minnetonka. The aim was the management of thethen just newly established health plan of physicians in Minnesota. It has gained prominence and advancement over the years duringthat period and currently operates on an enormoussum of billions of dollars annually (2016). Toimprove its mandate in the United States, the company acquireda series of smaller companies like the AmeriChoice in 2002, MidAtlantic Medical Services, Golden Rule Financial, among others.Currently, it serves more than 70 million Americans (2016). Most ofthese companies offered insurance and health finance services,marking the prime services that United Healthcare group offers. Withit as a case study, an assessment of its readiness to serve thehealth needs of citizens in the decade to come, and a strategic planthat encompasses nurse staffing, the growthof the network, management of resources, and patient satisfaction areto be deliberated in this paper.
One of the strategies is the increasing access plan of the UnitedHealthcare group. By partnering with Cisco, the United Health grouphas planned to build the first ever telehealth network for thenation. This platform is meant to help the patients access primaryhealthcare physicians when the in-person visits may not be possible.The program utilizes the technology of contemporary medical andtelecommunications systems that will contribute todelivering a visit from a virtual doctor at the doorsteps ofthe patients ("Health Care Reform & ModernizationSolutions," 2016). Moreover, thereshall be units that are mobile and retail locations getting to thepatients. Also, there shall be on-site areas in the workplacesthat shall be linked to an on-site doctorand a nurse through video conferencing in rooms that are soundproof.The doctors can then able to do the routinemedical procedures to help the patient get well.
In a move to curb the patient needs in the years to come, UnitedHealth Group has proposed the expansion of health access through themodernization and streamlining the options for coverage of health.The readiness for policy amendments and solutions based or obtainedfrom the local market are meant to build and protect the insurancethat is employer-sponsored. The companywants to achieve a more affordable, high value and sustainable healthcoverage for its consumers. Moreover, they will ensure the pay forcare providers is maintained at standard values so that quality isalways dispensed. Again, the proposal to create a newpartnership with the state and the federal governments in a move toexpand health cover through platforms like the newly amendedAffordable Care Act will be useful incatering to the needs of customers in thecoming decades ("Health Care Reform & ModernizationSolutions," 2016).
The plan to enhance the existing strategies of enrollment is anotherpriority indicating the company’s readiness. The company plans toallow States to leverage enrollment in individuals eligible forsubsidy by an option of passive enrollment. Thiswill see that many people access healthcare and are coveredthus improving the nation’s health profile. Another strategy is theprovision of financial help to the States through operational supportand existing federal funding authorities (Hopkins Tanne, 2012). Thisis important in that channeling finances to anarea marks existing improvement and availability of resources.The company also plans to grow and improve the employer-sponsoredinsurance (ESI) that is existing now. It is donethrough the support of the existent tax treatment of ESI and theACA’s excise tax repeal. Also, increasing access to incentives forhealth savings accounts is another way (Hopkins Tanne, 2012).
To realize patient satisfaction, United Healthcare plans onexperience personalization so that the patients can feel being partof their own care. For patients who havecancers that are complex, OptumHealth, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare partners with cancer centers that are certified andclinically assessed will provide highly professional andsophisticated care. Therefore, the diagnosis ishighly seen as accurate and propercare can be initiated. The company generates a team of experts whohave knowledge on the patient’s particularcancer and look towards the reduction ofcosts and time of hospitalization. On this account, the company hasenough advanced practice nurses who have experience and can help thepatient to make informed decisions about their care. Moreover, it hasplans to train and enhance its staff. They want to have more nurses,as stated by Patty Migler, a case managerof the Cancer Support Program at the company’s OptumHealthsubsidiary (Huang & Finegold, 2013). Therefore, the supplyof nurses and other healthcare workers is not at stake, and healthcare is destined to be more cost-effective and accessible.Moreover, United Health plans to expand its coverage throughpartnerships and mergers with other credible companies (Huang &Finegold, 2013).
Another strategy is the strengthening of the physician and patientrelationship. To see through this plan, thecompany started the Patient-CenteredMedical Home (PCMH) program that provides a well-integrated andholistic framework to the provision of patients with comprehensive,safe and efficient care as opposed to thecommon episodic and fragmented care thatkeeps the doctor separate from their patients. Again, the company hasplans of intensifying the steps taken in the tracking ofprescriptions so that adverse reactions and drug interactions arenot witnessed in many cases. This isbecause people visit different physicians and pharmacies thus, theyend up having more than one prescription that could warrant druginteractions (Little et al., 2011).
In a bid to improve the quality of healthcare to foster patientsatisfaction and increase nursing staff,the company has an organized structure that allows mentorship andguidance of the care provider through the process. Thisis achieved by assigning an experienced nurse to asubordinate one. This means that thecompany has to hire more staff to cater for its patient needs. Anexample is when Rhonda Burcham, a care nurse manager in thePost-Acute Transition Team of Secure Horizon contacted a caregiverfor one of the patients (Little et al., 2011). The caregiver was thepatient’s husband,and he was worried, but Rhonda organizedtalks about physical and occupational therapy and helped answer hisquestions. This is a support method thathelps the client’s caregiver understand the needs. Again, the useof technology that is transformative has been a success,and its expansion is on the course atUnited Health Group ("US healthcare quality needs improvement,"2011). For instance, Ingenix program assesses, organizes, andarranges vast data into sections based onpriorities so that health care can beeffective. Again, resource management hasbeen effected through reward of best-performingemployees, hiring more staff and improving their welfare management("US healthcare quality needs improvement,"2011).
In conclusion, United Health group is a diversified healthcarecompany that serves more than 70 million Americans. Its readiness toserve people in decades to come is reflectedin many strategies like improving methods of enrollment, provisionof financial help to the States, growing the employer-sponsoredinsurance, building a telehealth network, and modernization of healthcare coverage. Moreover, it has improved personalization of healthexperience, hiring more staff, improving the interaction between thedoctors and patients, among other means that will see its growth,improved resource management, nurse staffing, and patientsatisfaction.
(2016). Unitedhealthgroup.com.Retrieved 30 October 2016, fromhttp://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/F8DCC25D77824668ACA0C584492458AD.ashx
Health Care Reform & ModernizationSolutions.(2016). Unitedhealthgroup.com.Retrieved 30 October 2016, fromhttp://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/About/Modernization/Solutions.aspx
Hopkins Tanne, J. (2012). United Health Groupsettles with US securities watchdog. BMJ, 338(jan211), b99-b99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b99
Huang, E. & Finegold, K. (2013). SevenMillion Americans Live In Areas Where Demand For Primary Care MayExceed Supply By More Than 10 Percent. HealthAffairs, 32(3),614-621. http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2012.0913
Little, D., Zapp, J., Mullins, H., Zuckerman,A., Teasdale, S., & Johnson, K. (2011). Moving toward theUnited Statesstrategic plan in primary care informatics: a White Paper of thePrimary Care Informatics Working Group, American Medical InformaticsAssociation. JournalOf Innovation In Health Informatics, 11(2),89-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/jhi.v11i2.556
US healthcare quality needs improvement.(2011). Pharmacoeconomics& Outcomes News, 205(1),4-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf03295069