Workplace Wellness with Wendy Arnone

Regional CEO, Employer & Individual

What innovations and products have you launched recently or are preparing?

Technology is continuing to change how all Arizonans navigate the healthcare system, with new advances putting information at our fingertips and creating a more seamless and interactive healthcare experience. This results in improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. Wearable sensors, for example, can help people track daily steps, monitor heart rates and analyze sleep patterns. Employers and health plans are now including fitness trackers as part of corporate wellness programs to help empower consumers to take charge of their health and, at the same time, reduce healthcare costs. UnitedHealthcare Motion®is a digital wellness initiative that enables people to earn more than $1,000 per year by meeting certain daily walking goals. When goals are reached, the earnings are deposited into the members’ health savings account or health reimbursement account to help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Another critical aspect of technology is data analytics. Big data is a buzz word, but the applications are meaningful only if employers can make sense of the information. To help with that, employers are gaining access to online resources to help enable them to more easily analyze and make sense of health-related data. Health Plan Manager is an interactive tool introduced in 2018 that enables employers to analyze and understand health data, providing an analytics-driven roadmap to help improve health outcomes, mitigate expenses and empower employees to take charge of their health. It’s available to employers with self-funded health plans and as few as 100 enrolled employees.

To provide a sense of what is happening in the industry, please share the challenges you are addressing to enable superior healthcare services for your clients.

UnitedHealthcare’s mission is to help people live healthier lives and help the health system work better for everyone. To improve population health and patient experience, deliver the best possible health outcomes and reduce medical costs, we have fundamentally transformed our entire network, product and clinical strategy to help achieve those objectives. For example, UnitedHealthcare offers consumer health insurance plans with multiple choices, leads the industry in transparency tools, and provides financial incentives for both providers and members. Value Based Care, for example, focuses on the quality of care our members receive from their providers and provides incentives to those providers when we can measure better health, better careand lower costs. We have also learned that one size doesn’t fit all, so we have created a spectrum of programs that meet providers where they are in terms of readiness for value-based contracts. In time, we believe more and more care providers will shift from fee-for-service to value-based models that reward quality healthcare.

We alsorecognize the need for people to have access to quality and cost information about local medical services. By providing access to this type of information, people can feel more confident when evaluating treatment options and make better health and financial decisions for themselves and their families.For too long, people have had limited access to information about the quality of theirhealthcare choices and the costs associated with visiting a doctor or hospital. This lack oftransparency is costing the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars, while leaving peoplein the dark.UnitedHealthcare provides members with online and mobile transparency resources that provide quality of care and cost information. These resources provide information for more than 800 common medical services based on actual contracted rates with healthcare providers and facilities, offering people personalized estimates that are accurate the vast majority of the time and reflect the member’s actual health benefits plan, including any applicable deductibles or co-pays.By using our transparency resources, UnitedHealthcare members pay an average of 36 percent less than non-users. In addition, people who use the online or mobile resources are more likely to select healthcare providers rated highly on quality and cost efficiency.

Noone wants to be surprised by a high out-of-pocket cost when they pick up a prescription. Our PreCheck MyScript technology enables doctors and patients to view precise medication costs in real time and obtain prior authorization before leaving the exam room. This may help to encourage the selection of lower-cost drug alternatives, such as generics, or by changing the pharmacy selected to fill the prescription. Nearly 115,000 prescribing physicians have already used PreCheck MyScript through various electronic medical record platforms. By the end of 2019, the app is expected to reach 80 percent of UnitedHealthcare network physicians who prescribe electronically.

In what way(s) are you focused on helping businesses?

At UnitedHealthcare, we serve people from their earliest years through their working lives and into retirement. What unites us is our mission to help people live healthier lives and to help make the health system work better for everyone. This means we are dedicated to supporting better health and creating a better experience, all while making healthcare more affordable. We are well placed to make a distinctive contribution to solving one of the most important challenges of our time: how best to deliver and manage healthcare.

Among the actions we have taken to achieve that for our business partners, their employees and all our members is transforming how we work as an organization, to enable our employees to take the time to understand our members’ needs and become a true partner in their care. Success for us means responding to each individual, every time, with compassion.

Also, believing access to the right provider in the right place and at the right time is a priority for our members, we are transforming the way we work with care providers, collaborating to establish new ground rules based on improving patient care. By sharing our data and insights, we are helping physicians to deliver better clinical outcomes and make their practice more successful.

We see the many steps in each patient’s journey in a way no other organization can — from the clinic to the pharmacy, for a hospital appointment or a home visit, for emergency surgery or a regular check-up — so we can bring together the pieces of the healthcare puzzle for people to make the system work better for them. And, because we know that good health is about more than clinical treatments, we take a “whole person” approach to care, connecting up the different services to create a personalized circle of support around an individual.

Other actions involve working within the communities where our members live and work, because we recognize that healthcare is experienced and delivered locally.

The reality is, the healthcare system as we know it today is unsustainable. It is essential to make quality care more affordable for everyone involved, building a more connected and aligned system. At UnitedHealthcare, we believe we have a distinctive role to play in the transformation that is underway to shape a more sustainable health system for the future.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare of Arizona is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the healthcare experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trustedrelationships with care providers. UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 30,000 physicians and care professionals, and 90 hospitals and other care facilities statewide.

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