Who Is United Health Group? UnitedHealth Group is a leading health care company, serving more than 75 million people worldwide. Their family of companies touch nearly every aspect of health care. Through their Health Benefits businesses which include UnitedHealthcare, Employer & Individual, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement and UnitedHealthcare Community & State — they serve a full spectrum of customers with network-based health care benefits and related services. Through their Health Services business which include OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx — they are helping make the health care system itself work better for everyone. They are focused on population health management, care delivery and improving all the clinical and operating elements of the system. Source: https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com
Mission Our mission is to help people live healthier lives. Our role is to help make health care work for everyone. Seek to enhance the performance of the health system and improve the overall health and well-being of the people we serve and their communities. Work with health care professionals and other key partners to expand access to quality health care so people get the care they need at an affordable price. Support the physician/patient relationship and empower people with the information, guidance and tools they need to make personal health choices and decisions. Source: https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com
Values Integrity. We are dedicated to the highest levels of personal and institutional integrity. We make honest commitments and work to consistently honor those commitments. We do not compromise ethics. We strive to deliver on our promises and we have the courage to acknowledge mistakes and do whatever is needed to address them. Compassion. We try to walk in the shoes of the people we serve and the people we work with across the health care community. Our job is to listen with empathy and then respond appropriately and quickly with service and advocacy for each individual, each group or community and for society as a whole. We celebrate our role in serving people and society in an area so vitally human as their health. Relationships. We build trust through cultivating relationships and working in productive collaboration with government, employers, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals, hospitals and the individual consumers of health care. Trust is earned and preserved through truthfulness, integrity, active engagement and collaboration with our colleagues and clients. We encourage the variety of thoughts and perspectives that reflect the diversity of our markets, customers and workforce. Innovation. We pursue a course of continuous, positive and practical innovation, using our deep experience in health care to be thoughtful advocates of change and to use the insights we gain to invent a better future that will make the health care environment work and serve everyone more fairly, productively and consistently. Performance. We are committed to deliver and demonstrate excellence in everything we do. We will be accountable and responsible for consistently delivering high-quality and superior results that make a difference in the lives of the people we touch. We continue to challenge ourselves to strive for even better outcomes in all key performance areas. Source: https://www.unitedhealthgroup.com
Time for a Change… OptumHealth, a business segment of United Health Group, underwent a major change in 2007 by moving segments of their staff from the office into the home. OptumHealth was telecommuting.
Planning Source: Dr. Michelle Bligh, 2009 Communication of Strategies Use multiple modes of communication Include representatives from all functional and geographic locations Give everyone a say, do not make the change feel imposed Ask the Right Questions Understand all of the systems in play Identify Structural Impediments What are the limitations to your infrastructure that may cause delays and/or failures to your change process Identify resistors and create coalitions Identify resistors to change and help them to understand the process and why it is necessary. Create coalitions of the willing to work through any potential hang ups. Communication of Strategies According to Tracy Traugott, Supervisor at Optum Behavioral Health (OBH), Staff were very surprised at the announcement of change. Leadership went out of their way to pass out packets of information, conduct staff meetings and provide status updates via email to keep staff aware of progress. Ask the Right Questions The company had tested the waters previously and had success with the change, saving quite a bit of money in the process and streamlining business processes. Identify Structural Impediments Leadership at OBH realized the infrastructure requirements during the planning stages and worked out deals with telecommunications providers and furniture vendors well ahead of the planned implementation. Identify Resistors and Create Coalitions This was an area that I believe OBH dropped the ball. According to Tracy Traugott, little was done to achieve staff buy in during any stage of the change process Suggestions for Success How did OptumHealth Do?
Implementation Further identifying resistors and creating coalitions Identify resistors to change throughout the entire change process and attempt to eliminate them before they cause regression. Effective Communication Must tailor communication to everyone to be most effective. Involving everyone will make staff feel like they are part of the process and will provide your change effort a better chance to last. Identify and overcome structural impediments. What are the limitations to your infrastructure that may cause delays and/or failures to your change process Further identifying resistors and creating coalitions Employees that had reservations about telecommuting were given the option to resign with a severance package based on their tenure with the company. Effective Communication Leadership continued to hold regular staff meetings to identify any questions. Progress emails were sent out daily. Overall the consensus among staff were that the top leadership could have done a better job in the communication during implementation. Most of what was happening was just imposed and left many people wondering why. A lot of questions went unanswered. Structural impediments Many things came up during the implementation such as delays in furniture and cable installs. This was handled as efficiently as possible by leadership, and the impact to overall production was minimal. Suggestions for Success How did OptumHealth Do? Source: Dr. Michelle Bligh, 2009
Sustainment Continued Communication Periodic Team Meetings Organization Sensing Meetings Periodic Intergroup Meetings Renewal Conferences Goal Directed Performance Reviews Periodic Visits from outside consultants Rewards Continued Communication OptumHealth continues to hold staff meetings twice a month, bringing all call center staff into the office to discuss ongoing challenges to the change Management meets once a month, via teleconference to discuss overcoming leadership obstacles in the new format Individual teams meet once a month to discuss issues among the team with their supervisor Performance reviews were tailored to meet the new requirements of a telecommuting type environment Suggestions for Success How did OptumHealth Do? Source: Beach, 2006
Reflection and Observation Communication Reoccurring theme during any change process Accomplished Goals UHG managed to consolidate their workforce Bottom line savings in facilities cost was realized. Conflict and change move the organization forward Leadership had to adapt to changed work environment causing them to be more creative and innovative in dealing with situations.
References Bligh, M. (Writer). (n.d.). Organizational Change. Podcast retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ Bligh, M. (Writer). (n.d.). Sustaining Change. Podcast retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ Beach, L. R. (2006). Leadership and the art of change: A practical guide to organizational transformation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.