United Health Group Case Study

United Health Group is one of the largest health groups, dating back to more than three decades since its formation. The diversified healthcare organization was founded in 1977 by Richard Burke and has its headquarters in Minnesota, U.S.A (United Health Group, n.d). Over the years, the organization has exponentially expanded and spread its presence in several other nations all over the world. In the United States, United Health Group operates in more than 50 states. In matters of healthcare delivery, the organization is dedicated to helping people live healthier by providing quality and effective health services, enhancing access to medical benefits, and creating affordable services supported by technology. In light of this, this paper examines the readiness of the organization in accommodating the health care needs of patients in the next decade and the strategic plan for their network growth with consideration to nursing workforce, management of resources, and patient satisfaction.

Addressing Patient Healthcare needs

Over the last decade, the state of healthcare environment has experienced dramatic changes. Along with the changes comes the need to transform the healthcare system to meet the demands of the new patient population. United Healthcare has become a leader in the health system transformation as it proactively addresses the challenges facing the sector. In response to the increasing demands of healthcare needs, United Health Group offers several programs as part of its mission to enhance the health and well-being of the citizens (United Health Group, 2015). Consequently, in order to meet the healthcare needs of the residents in the next decade, the organization has been focused on improving the quality of care, providing information to patients, and guidance to help them make independent health decisions at an affordable rate. The organization, which began its transformation initiative in 2007 focused on a patient-centered model by improving quality of care and use of evidence-based care approach. The rationale behind this transformation was that healthcare was reactive and transactional with clinics designed for utmost 15 minutes for individual patients. The primary care was only limited to the care delivered to patients. However, the United Healthcare analytics identified gaps and began the transformational process. The strategy was successful, but they found out that to improve quality outcomes across the healthcare system it was necessary to engage their entire network of partners in the continuum of care.

Strategic Plan to address Network Growth

When health systems, hospitals, and physicians shift from fee-for-service healthcare to value-based system, healthcare organizations need to have a strategy to thrive in their whole network. A strategic growth plan helps organizations to handle essential components, the people, physical facilities, and the system. In essence, the strategic plan helps organizations to develop their mission, vision, and specific procedures to achieve their organization goals. In the case of United Health Group, the organization has an advanced technologically networked system that allows patients easy access and satisfaction in the delivery of care (United Health Group, 2010). In particular, the organization has an enhanced magnetic card system that allows doctors and their health facilities with real-time access to patient information (United Health Group, n.d). By being able to access patient data, the hospital has been able to save millions of dollars especially on benefit eligibility and claim history. In addition to the above, the telehealth system allows patients to access physicians online when physical visits are not possible. Similarly, by using electronic health record system, the organization ensures improved diagnostic and patient outcomes. Ideally, electronic health records allow healthcare providers to have access to reliable information regarding a patient’s complete health data. By having access to comprehensive data about a patient, this helps providers diagnose patients fast, reduce medical errors, improve patient safety, and improve patient outcomes.

Nurse Staffing

Nursing turnover critically affects the performance of healthcare organizations as well as their profitability (Everhart, Neff, & Al-Amin, 2013). That is amidst a health system that requires a stable and highly trained nursing staff to deliver effective patient care. By understanding the primary causes of nurse turnover and reasons that lead them to quit, employers can be able to develop a countermeasure to curb the problem. Virtually, one of the primary factors that affect nursing turnover is lack of expertise and skills necessary to meet the challenges of the current healthcare system. The United Health Group understand this and according to the Campaign for Action (2015), in 2008 they launched a center for nursing advancement to provide career development programs with the aim of improving patient care skills and nursing leadership skills. The organization also has clinical service and recognition awards to promote nurse professionals job satisfaction and enhance retention. Along with that, the organization recognizes the potential of nurse leaders and their contribution in redesigning the health care system. Thus, they offer nurses the opportunity to advance their education for the necessary knowledge and skills for nurse leaders.

Resource Management

In health care organizations, resource management involves the efficient and effective development of an organization’s resources when it is necessary. The United Health Group understands the necessity of managing their resources to enhance the delivery of quality care to their patients. For instance, the organization is applying an evidence-based treatment plan to improve patient care and reduce health care costs. Similarly, by using the telehealth network, patients can access physicians and specialists easily when they cannot access the facilities physically. In addition to the above, the organization also has programs for the seniors to help in the prevention and management of diseases and personal health.

Patient satisfaction

In the current competitive market of healthcare, managers should focus on achieving excellent ratings for patient satisfaction. According to Al-Abri & Al-Balushi (2014), patient satisfaction affects clinical outcomes and is often used as an indicator for measuring the quality of care. Usually, patient satisfaction considers the delivery of care in a timely, efficient, and patient-centered delivery model. The United Health Group is dedicated to the delivery of care and has in fact received various awards for the improved care and patient safety. Through their dedicated services, the organization now serves millions of people all over the United States and around the globe.

United Health Group is one of the major diversified health organization dedicated to helping people receive better health care through quality, accessible, and affordable care. The organization uses telehealth to network their facilities to be able to offer credible and understandable information to their consumers for better and informed decisions. By far, the organization has been competent in enabling healthcare technology to fulfill emerging demands of the current and future healthcare system. Indeed, the team is living up to the basic human needs where every individual has a right to better care and being prevented from diseases for a valuable life.

References

Al-Abri, R., & Al-Balushi, A. (2014). Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality improvement. Oman Medical Journal, 29(1), 3-7.

Campaign for Action. (2015). Champion of Nursing: UnitedHealth Group. Retrieved from: https://campaignforaction.org/champion-nursing-unitedhealth-group/

Everhart, D., Neff, D., Al-Amin, M., Nogle, J., & Weech-Maldonado, R. (2013). The effects of nurse staffing on hospital financial performance: competitive versus less competitive markets. Health Care Management Review, 38(2), 146-155.

Retrieved from: https://www.uhc.com/content/dam/uhcdotcom/en/ValueBasedCare/PDFs/White-Paper-Patient-Centered-Care-Model.pdf

United Health Group. (2010). A new era in health care, new opportunities to serve: 2010 summary annual report. Retrieved from: http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/7F1C5990685942F7B97294DCF7900E74.ashx

United Health Group. (2015). United Healthcare White Paper: Patient Centered Care Model

United Health Group. (n.d). Our History. Retrieved from: http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/About/History.aspx?p=1

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