Executives from UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minn., acknowledged missteps that have frustrated patients and doctors and cost it customers, and said the company is working to improve.
Poor customer service, especially for health insurance for businesses, caused losses of 315,000 customers this year, the company told investors and analysts at a presentation in New York. And it said it pushed too hard to integrate its PacifiCare acquisition, alienating doctors and customers.
Improvements are on the way, including faster payments for doctors, said David Wichmann, who oversees UnitedHealth Groups individual and employer markets. We understand relationships, and we recognize that this is a health system that needs to work for everyone, not just for us, he said.
UnitedHealth officials outlined changes aimed at improving its service reputation, including: showing doctors and patients on the day of a doctors visit how a claim will be paid; paying doctors more quickly; and giving UnitedHealth employees incentives for quality and patient advocacy first, and productivity second.
UnitedHealth is the nations second-largest health insurer, but it has expanded outside of traditional health insurance, too. -- by the Associated Press