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UnitedHealth Group Inc. is a diversified managed health care company headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S. It is No. 14 on Fortune magazine's top 500 companies in the United States. UnitedHealth Group offers a spectrum of products and services through two operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare and Optum. Through its family of subsidiaries and divisions, UnitedHealth Group serves approximately 70 million individuals nationwide. In 2011, the company posted a net earnings of $5.142 billion.UnitedHealth Group is the parent of UnitedHealthcare, the largest single health carrier in the United States. It was created in 1977, as UnitedHealthCare Corporation , but traces its origin to a firm it acquired in 1977, Charter Med Incorporated, which was founded in 1974. In 1979, it introduced the first network-based health plan for seniors. In 1984, it became a publicly traded company.In 2011, J.D. Power and Associates gave UnitedHealthcare the highest employer satisfaction rating for self-insured health plans. UnitedHealthcare also received high marks from the American Medical Association in its 2011 National Health Insurance Report Card. The fourth annual report card evaluated seven national health insurance companies on the timeliness and accuracy of their claims processing based on a variety of payment, approval and process metrics. UnitedHealthcare moved into the top spot among its industry peers on two metrics: Contracted Fee Schedule Match Rate, which indicates how often an insurer's claim payment matches the contracted fee schedule; and Electronic Remittance Advice Accuracy, which measures the rate at which the insurer's allowed amount equals the physician practice's expected allowed amount. In a 2010 insurance industry publication, Business Insurance , UnitedHealthcare was named "Readers Choice" winner in 2010 for "Best health plan provider".In contrast, a 2010 survey of hospital executives who have dealt with the company, United received a 65% unfavorable rating. While this marks a 33% improvement over the prior year's survey, UnitedHealthcare still ranked last among all listed. Wikipedia.


An observational study of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) BMI coding distributions was conducted to ascertain the trends in overweight and obesity prevalence among KPNC members aged 2-19 between the periods of 2003-2005 and 2009-2010. A decrease in the prevalence of overweight (-11.1% change) and obesity (-3.6% change) and an increase in the prevalence of healthy weight (+2.7% change) were demonstrated. Children aged 2-5 had the greatest improvement in obesity prevalence (-11.5% change). Adolescents aged 12-19 were the only age group to not show a decrease in obesity prevalence. Of the racial and ethnic groups, Hispanics/Latinos had the highest prevalence of obesity across all age groups. The KPNC prevalence of overweight and obesity compares favorably to external benchmarks, although differences in methodologies limit our ability to draw conclusions. Physician counseling as well as weight management programs and sociodemographic factors may have contributed to the overall improvements in BMI in the KPNC population. Physician training, practice tools, automated BMI reminders and performance feedback improved the frequency and quality of physician counseling. BMI screening and counseling at urgent visits, in addition to well-child care visits, increased the reach and dose of physician counseling.


Burns C.J.,Dow Chemical Company | McIntosh L.J.,SafetyTox LLC | Mink P.J.,Allina Health Center for Healthcare Research and Innovation | Jurek A.M.,Allina Health Center for Healthcare Research and Innovation | Li A.A.,UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part B: Critical Reviews | Year: 2013

Assessment of whether pesticide exposure is associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in children can best be addressed with a systematic review of both the human and animal peer-reviewed literature. This review analyzed epidemiologic studies testing the hypothesis that exposure to pesticides during pregnancy and/or early childhood is associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in children. Studies that directly queried pesticide exposure (e.g., via questionnaire or interview) or measured pesticide or metabolite levels in biological specimens from study participants (e.g., blood, urine, etc.) or their immediate environment (e.g., personal air monitoring, home dust samples, etc.) were eligible for inclusion. Consistency, strength of association, and dose response were key elements of the framework utilized for evaluating epidemiologic studies. As a whole, the epidemiologic studies did not strongly implicate any particular pesticide as being causally related to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants and children. A few associations were unique for a health outcome and specific pesticide, and alternative hypotheses could not be ruled out. Our survey of the in vivo peer-reviewed published mammalian literature focused on effects of the specific active ingredient of pesticides on functional neurodevelopmental endpoints (i.e., behavior, neuropharmacology and neuropathology). In most cases, effects were noted at dose levels within the same order of magnitude or higher compared to the point of departure used for chronic risk assessments in the United States. Thus, although the published animal studies may have characterized potential neurodevelopmental outcomes using endpoints not required by guideline studies, the effects were generally observed at or above effect levels measured in repeated-dose toxicology studies submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Suggestions for improved exposure assessment in epidemiology studies and more effective and tiered approaches in animal testing are discussed. © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


Ansari M.,UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory Science | Year: 2013

The emerging trend of validated biomarkers, otherwise known as companion diagnostics (CDx), is playing a key role in helping pharmaceutical companies acquire rapid regulatory approval of their targeted therapeutics while saving on development time and costs. In today's challenging regulatory arena, diagnostics-led treatment can improve the reimbursement and market access for drugs. All of this has prompted research in the use of such biomarkers with targeted therapeutics for predicting response to therapy, hence beginning the revolution of personalized medicine. With the current target area being oncology, other therapeutic areas are also now being explored. As an increasing number of pharmaceutical firms are penetrating the CDx arena and looking to partner with diagnostics developers, this does not come without its challenges. The codevelopment process is complex, and many hurdles may need to be crossed before a perfect model can be achieved. To add further to the complexity, the global regulatory landscape for CDx is in a state of flux, making it extremely challenging for industry to keep up with the increasing demands of the regulators. This article provides an overview of the changing regulatory landscape for CDx in some of these key markets and an insight to deal with the challenges associated with developing a successful global regulatory strategy for a CDx product. The views presented in this article are mainly from a diagnostics perspective. © The Author(s) 2013.


Ellis P.,UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization | Sandy L.G.,UnitedHealth Group Inc. | Larson A.J.,UnitedHealthcare | Stevens S.L.,Global Health Division
Health Affairs | Year: 2012

Reforming payment methods to move away from fee-for-service reimbursement is widely seen as a crucial step toward controlling health care costs. Although there is a good deal of evidence about variability in costs under Medicare, little has been published about the variability of costs for care that is financed by private insurance. We examined both quality and actual medical costs for episodes of care provided by nearly 250,000 US physicians serving commercially insured patients nationwide. Overall, episode costs for a set of major medical procedures varied about 2.5-fold, and for a selected set of common chronic conditions, episode costs varied about 15-fold. Among doctors meeting quality and efficiency benchmarks, however, costs for episodes of care were on average 14 percent lower than among other doctors. Some markets exhibited much higher variation in episode costs, but there was essentially no correlation between average episode costs and measured quality across markets. The overall analysis suggests that changing incentives through payment reforms could help to improve performance, but providers are at different stages of readiness for such reforms and thus will often need support in order to succeed. © 2012 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.


Patent
UnitedHealth Group Inc. | Date: 2013-06-07

Computer program products, methods, systems, apparatus, and computing entities are provided for sessions with participants and providers. For example, in one embodiment, a provider can interact with multiple participants to conduct interactive treatment sessions. Further, a participant can interact with multiple providers to conduct interactive treatment sessions. For the interactive treatment sessions, motion data and video data of the participant can be simultaneously displayed to the provider.

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