1974 Charter Med Incorporated is founded by a group of physicians and other health care professionals who want to expand health coverage options for consumers.
1977 United HealthCare Corporation is created to reorganize the company and becomes the parent company of Charter Med Incorporated. United HealthCare introduces such health care innovations as pharmacy/drug formularies, hospital admission pre-certification processes, physician office software to manage and control costs, mental health/chemical dependency intermediaries (behavioral health) and an insurance wrap as one feature on top of traditional HMO products.
The Early Years
UnitedHealth Group's commitment to help people live healthier lives and to innovative thinking is an integral part of the company's heritage. UnitedHealth Group (named United HealthCare Corporation in 1977) traces its roots back to Dr. Paul Ellwood, the health-policy guru who coined the term “health maintenance organization” in the 1960s and helped entrepreneur Richard Burke found the company in 1977. The business was based on using the best practices in medical care and the best thinking in business management to improve the health of patients while strengthening the health care system. Through its many health care innovations, UnitedHealth Group today touches more than 80 million people worldwide.
1979 United HealthCare Corporation introduces the first network-based health plan for seniors and participates in the earliest experiments with offering private-market alternatives for Medicare.
Health Plans for Seniors
From its earliest days, United HealthCare Corporation has focused strongly on the health needs of seniors. More than 30 years ago, we participated in early experimental programs offering private market alternatives for Medicare and developed the first policies designed specifically for seniors. This was a strong indicator of the future. We have become a leading provider of health care products and services to seniors, including Medicare Supplement plans in association with AARP.
1984 United HealthCare Corporation becomes a publicly traded company, specializing in technology and service systems for health care.
1987 United HealthCare begins offering EverCare, a program designed to help coordinate care for individuals in nursing homes.
1988 United HealthCare creates the modern pharmacy benefits management business, linking benefit design with retail pharmacy networks and mail service through its subsidiary, Diversified Pharmaceutical Services Inc.
Pharmacy Benefits Management
United HealthCare pioneered the containment of prescription drug costs for consumers through the use of pharmacy benefit management services (PBMs). PBMs manage payments for prescription drug claims. Because of their purchasing power on behalf of many consumers, they negotiate better prices with drug makers and pharmacies. PBMs are widely used in the industry today.
1989 United HealthCare introduces the transplant network that helps direct people to programs equipped with quality physicians and facilities to handle their complex medical needs. Over time the program expands to include conditions including cancer, kidney disease, congenital heart disease, women’s health services and bariatric surgery.
The transplant network is an example of UnitedHealth Group's leadership role in applying evidence-based comparative effectiveness data to improve patient care and to reduce costs for the health care system. By providing statistically valid ratings of the quality and cost-effectiveness of transplant facilities and physicians, the program encourages patients to seek better care and helps physicians and medical facilities improve their practices. By increasing survivor rates and controlling medical complications, the transplant network contributes to significant savings on the costs of transplant care. The application of comparative effectiveness data in other areas of medical care brings the same benefits to both patients and the health care system.
1992 United HealthCare is the first company to produce a Report Card on health care access, quality, and cost measures.
United HealthCare Report Cards
Like many of its innovations, United HealthCare's Report Cards, rating quality, cost, and other factors of our plans give patients the information they need to make wise choices for their own health care. At the time, United HealthCare was the only company to issue such reports on its quality and performance; however, the industry has widely adopted self-ratings in the intervening years.
1994 Diversified Pharmaceutical Services Inc. is sold to SmithKline Beecham Corporation for $2.3 billion.
1995 The company acquires The MetraHealth Companies Inc. for $1.65 billion. MetraHealth was formed by combining the group health care operations of The Travelers Insurance Company and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
1996 The company's patented artificial intelligence system AdjudiPro®, which is entered into the permanent research collection of the Smithsonian Institution, is awarded the CIO Enterprise Value Award.
To reduce the time and cost associated with processing claims submitted by physicians on behalf of patients nationwide, United HealthCare created AdjudiPro, an advanced system for automating much of the claims review process. In 1996, this innovative technology – which is entered into the permanent research collection of the Smithsonian Institution – was awarded the CIO Enterprise Value Award. The system remains a breakthrough in demonstrating how modern technology can make core functions of the health care system more modern and more efficient and allow more resources to be dedicated to helping people live healthier lives.
1997 After a rigorous selection process, AARP names United HealthCare to provide health coverage services to its members.
United HealthCare expands its EverCare Care Model to serve not only individuals in nursing homes, but also frail, elderly individuals who wish to live independently at home and those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
1998... United HealthCare Corporation becomes known as UnitedHealth Group and launches a strategic realignment into independent but strategically linked business segments — UnitedHealthcare, Ovations, Uniprise, Specialized Care Services and Ingenix.
United HealthCare Corporation Becomes UnitedHealth Group
During 1998, the company undertook a significant realignment of its operations into six independent, yet strategically linked businesses, each dedicated to meeting the health and well-being needs of a unique market segment. To more accurately reflect the breadth and structure of this new company, the corporate organization, United HealthCare Corporation, was renamed UnitedHealth Group. A new graphic identity was introduced for UnitedHealth Group that includes the logotype combined with a symbol, representing the letter 'U.' The symbol is comprised of steps or tiers that suggest the multi-dimensional nature of UnitedHealth Group as the parent of a diverse health and well-being company.
...1998 The first release of Clinical ProfilesSM takes place. Clinical Profiles provides network physicians with data comparing their clinical practices to nationally accepted benchmarks for care.
More than a decade before "comparative outcomes research" became part of the debate on health reform, United HealthCare issued "best practices" clinical profiles, closely working with leading physicians and mining the enterprise's rich and deep data banks. The sophisticated use of data helped lead United HealthCare to become the first to drop most of the cumbersome "preauthorization" rules within the next year.
1999 UnitedHealthcare introduces Care CoordinationSM, which eliminates prior authorizations and channels those resources into consumer and physician outreach for people who will benefit most from coordinating fragmented care delivery resources.
For years, patients who needed to see a specialist were required to first see their primary care physician, get a referral and then have the referral approved by their coverage plan. For patients and doctors, the experience was often frustrating and bureaucratic - and there was little evidence it was cost-effective. So UnitedHealthcare took the lead in eliminating the requirement for prior authorization. Those resources were then channeled into Care Coordination, a new system for consumer and physician outreach for patients who benefit most from coordination of fragmented care delivery. By breaking industry norms, UnitedHealthcare helped to better facilitate access to care for patients and decrease administrative paperwork for physicians.
2000 UnitedHealthcare launches myuhc.com®, which enables individual customers to order ID cards, check the status of claims, and access relevant health information online.
2001 UnitedHealthcare uses web-enabled technology to simplify and improve service for physicians, enabling them to check benefit eligibility for patients and submit and review claims. The company also launches a web-based distribution portal to serve small business brokers.
2002... UnitedHealth Group acquires AmeriChoice as its platform for serving the most vulnerable populations in public programs. Later that year, UnitedHealthcare merged its legacy Medicaid business into AmeriChoice, with its strong management and holistic approach to serving this market.
...2002 Ingenix introduces new knowledge and information products - including Parallax i™, iCES™ and the Galaxy clinical database - that help clients gain clinical and financial insights and improve the quality of health care delivery and administration.
Galaxy was developed by Ingenix as a single source for individual customer, care provider, policy, product, pharmacy, financial and statistical claims data. It is one of the most comprehensive data warehouses in the health care industry with the ability to enable statistically valid measurement and analyses of health care utilization, effectiveness and cost.
2003 Uniprise introduces electronic medical ID cards that use magnetic stripe technology and the MasterCard® system and network to make it easy to verify patient eligibility and benefits in seconds.
2004 UnitedHealth Group's iPlan®, consumer-driven health plans that integrate high-deductible health plans with health reimbursement accounts, is expanded to include health savings accounts for employer groups. The products are offered through the company's UnitedHealthcare and Uniprise businesses. Golden Rule, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare, offers health savings accounts to individuals.
Consumer-Driven Health Plans
As the model for dynamic, consumer-driven health plans gained market momentum, UnitedHealth Group acquired Definity Health, a national market leader in the consumer-driven health benefits marketplace. Definity was founded in Minneapolis in 1998 and provided health benefits to nearly 100 employers, including 23 of the Fortune 500. The acquisition of Definity Health has advanced UnitedHealth Group’s efforts to achieve greater consumer engagement and individual benefits ownership.
2005 Ingenix is selected by the FDA for drug safety monitoring and support. The Ingenix program includes extensive data resources and analytic capabilities to help the FDA accelerate the identification and assessment of issues and potential risks related to pharmaceutical agents.
Drug Safety Monitoring and Support
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration uses i3 Aperio® to review health care data relating to new prescription drug experiences and identify data signals that may indicate potential drug safety issues. i3 Aperio is a first-in-class medical product safety surveillance tool, offered by Ingenix, that integrates Ingenix technology, epidemiological expertise and clinical data capabilities to provide continuous and contemporary real-world health care experience data on millions of patients.
2006... UnitedHealth Group introduces enhanced card technology that combines health benefit information and financial information on a single card. In addition to multiple accounts, the new cards also provide access to an individual's Personal Health Record, making critical health information highly portable.
Enhanced Card Technology
UnitedHealth Group's enhanced health care ID swipe card technology helps bring the benefits of information technology to the health care industry by streamlining administration and saving costs. Much like a credit card, UnitedHealth Group's health care ID cards are equipped with a magnetic stripe on the back, providing doctors and hospitals with real-time access to patient benefits and eligibility information and medical claim history, including pharmacy and lab claim data. It also allows physicians to submit claims online and receive a fully adjudicated response in seconds. Broader use of swipe card technology could save medical practices and hospitals an estimated $1 billion a year, according to the Medical Group Management Association.
2007... UnitedHealth Group extends and broadens its relationship with AARP for an additional seven years to include Medicare Advantage, Part D and Medicare Supplement products across all markets, as well as new health and wellness solutions to address AARP members' individual needs.
...2007... More than 5 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. These consumers have saved $30 billion in out-of-pocket expenses over the first two years of this program.
...2007 UnitedHealthcare introduces innovative consumer-driven products that enable individuals to take a more active role in managing their own health care, such as UnitedHealthcare EDGE for small business customers.
2008... UnitedHealthcare's Premium designation program recognizes physicians for meeting quality and cost efficiency criteria across 20 distinct medical specialties and is available to consumers in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. Twenty million of our consumers have access to Premium physician designation information in their markets, and consumers in 85 percent of our markets have access to differentiated hospital quality and efficiency data online through our Hospital Comparison Tool.
Premium Designation Program
UnitedHealthcare believes that offering credible, understandable information empowers consumers to make more informed decisions, and motivates health care professionals to deliver high quality care at the lowest price – ultimately creating a better health care system for all. The UnitedHealth Premium® designation program was developed in collaboration with leading employers, physician and hospital advisory groups and consumer feedback. It is designed to make it easier for consumers to navigate the health care system by providing them with tools to compare physician and facility quality and cost information. The program also supports physicians and facilities in their efforts to improve care delivery by providing them with actionable feedback through high-level performance and detailed patient reports.
UnitedHealth Group introduces the first Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan for people with Alzheimer's and chronic dementia.
...2008... The company is the first to adopt National Comprehensive Cancer Network standards for determining chemotherapy drug coverage as part of its commitment to best science.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network
UnitedHealthcare took an important step in promoting patient care based on the best available clinical data by adopting standards for determining chemotherapy drug coverage outlined by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. This alliance of 21 of the nation’s leading cancer centers created a compendium on recommended drugs and biologics based on the independent evaluation of available scientific evidence, integrated with the expert judgment of leading clinicians, and, UnitedHealthcare became the first coverage provider to base their policies on this evidence-based authority.
...2008... OptumHealth launches myOptumHealth.com, a health information website that provides consumers with free access to clinically reviewed, easy-to-understand and actionable content, tools and resources.
...2008 Golden Rule launches UnitedHealth ContinuitySM, an innovative product that allows consumers to apply for and lock in health insurance while they are healthy, but not use the coverage until they retire, become self-employed, unemployed, or move to a job without health benefits.
UnitedHealth Continuity is a unique patent-pending health insurance solution that guarantees future insurability for individuals and families when they need it. With Continuity, consumers need to go through the medical underwriting process only once, at the time of application. Once they are approved, their coverage is guaranteed, and they can turn it “on” or “off” when their needs change, as many times as necessary. Continuity enables people to change employment or retire before Medicare eligibility without worrying about gaps in their health coverage. In addition, consumers can choose from a wide range of health plans, deductibles and optional benefits including traditional health insurance plans, health savings account plans and lower-cost high-deductible plans.
2009... UnitedHealthcare launches the groundbreaking Patient-Centered Medical Home program (PCMH) involving primary care practices in Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, New York and Rhode Island, developed in collaboration with national primary care specialty societies. In the PCMH model, patients receive coordinated care from their primary care physician, or “medical home,” rather than fragmented and episodic care from various health care providers or facilities.
...2009... UnitedHealthcare puts its physician and facility network on Apple Inc.’s iPhone, helping improve access to health care for consumers. The new DocGPS App allows consumers to tailor their search to their specific health plan and locate nearby doctors, clinics and hospitals within the UnitedHealthcare network using the GPS functionality of iPhone 3G and 3GS.
...2009... UnitedHealth Group announces a partnership with Cisco to build the first national telehealth network, which integrates leading health care and remote video technology systems that will give patients access to physicians and specialists when in-person visits are not possible.
As the nation faces a growing shortage of primary care and specialist physicians, UnitedHealth Group has partnered with Cisco to build the first, nationwide telehealth network that will give patients access to physicians and specialists when in-person visits are not possible. Our "Connected Care" initiative will use state-of-the-art teleconferencing and electronic health records technology to greatly expand physicians' reach into underserved areas, both rural and urban.
...2009... UnitedHealthcare launches the first-of-its-kind Diabetes Health Plan for individuals afflicted with diabetes and pre-diabetes. The plan includes incentives to empower individuals to more effectively manage their conditions and control their health care costs.
Diabetes Health Plan
UnitedHealthcare’s Diabetes Health Plan pioneers the use of incentives for individuals with diabetes and pre-diabetes to better manage their conditions. Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and preventable chronic diseases confronting workers and employers today, costing the U.S. economy $174 billion annually. By keeping individuals with diabetes and pre-diabetes healthier, the Diabetes Health Plan helps them delay or prevent complications and expensive, late-stage catastrophic care. The plan provides people with strong financial and health incentives for better managing their care, including some supplies and medication at no charge, as well as lower copayments for related doctors' visits, at an estimated savings of roughly $500 per year. By personalizing this plan to the needs of the individual patient, the program can drive better health outcomes and reduce costs for everyone.
Learn more about Diabetes Programs >
OptumHealth introduces eSync, a new technology platform that collects and synchronizes individualized health care data to help identify effective care opportunities and provide people with personalized health management support. The technology helps organizations more proactively engage individuals and care providers with appropriate health care programs, while reducing costs.
The eSync Platform is a powerful new technology that helps build a detailed health portrait of each patient and then delivers customized health care management solutions directly to the individual. By combining a wide range of health data, such as medical claims, health and lifestyle choices and demographic factors, UnitedHealth Group can turn this information into a practical blueprint for effective, personalized plans based on actual health care needs. Patients may receive background information about an upcoming medical procedure, or a reminder to schedule an annual exam, or tips on starting an exercise plan, all based on their personal needs. eSync also powers the ability to proactively reach out to high-risk customers and offer them the opportunity to participate in programs specifically designed to reduce their health risks.
2010... UnitedHealthcare announces an innovative cancer care payment model that bundles payments to oncologists to help ensure continuity of care for patients and improve quality and health outcomes.
...2010... UnitedHealth Group launches the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, a partnership with YMCA of the USA and retail pharmacies to help prevent and control diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity.
The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is anchored by two innovative, integrated programs: The Diabetes Prevention Program, designed to help people at risk for diabetes prevent the disease through healthy eating, increased activity, and other lifestyle changes. UnitedHealth Group is partnering with YMCA of the USA to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program. The Diabetes Control Program, which helps people with diabetes better control their condition through education and support from trained pharmacists. UnitedHealth Group is partnering with retail pharmacies to offer the Diabetes Control Program. A key to the programs is UnitedHealth Group’s offering insurance coverage for these services through its health insurance plans. A video, fact sheets and more information about the alliance are available in the:
Diabetes Awareness section >
...2010... The American Medical Association selects Ingenix CareTrackerTM as the first electronic health records system offered through the AMA’s new online health information solutions platform for physicians. CareTracker integrates patient medical records and e-prescribing tools in the physician’s workflow.
...2010... UnitedHealthcare and the National Restaurant Association create the Restaurant Health Care Alliance.The new alliance is designed to provide easier access to health care coverage and related products and services to nearly 1 million restaurant owners and 13 million restaurant employees.
...2010 Health care related financial account assets held by OptumHealth Financial Services reach more than $1 billion; consumer accounts grow to more than 2.2 million. Individuals served by consumer-driven health plans increase to 3.4 million people.
OptumHealth Financial Services
OptumHealth Financial Services includes OptumHealth Bank, Member FDIC. Dedicated, integrated health banking was pioneered by UnitedHealth Group in 2003 with the introduction of Exante Bank. Renamed in 2008, OptumHealth Bank has now become a leading administrator of health savings accounts for individuals and families.
2011... Optum launches The Optum Institute. The Optum Institute will leverage the company's broad health care experience and research capabilities to provide analysis and insight on the rapidly changing health care landscape.
...2011... The Product Development and Management Association recognized UnitedHealth Group with the 2011 Outstanding Corporate Innovator Award. The award recognizes sustained (five or more years) quantifiable business results from new products and services. Past winners include such world-class innovators as Apple, Pepsi, BMW, FedEx, Bank of America, Harley Davidson and Xerox, among others.
The Product Development and Management Association recognized UnitedHealth Group with the 2011 Outstanding Corporate Innovator Award.
Learn more on the Innovation site >
...2011... Our Optum's hi HealthInnovations business launches a suite of high-tech, lower-cost hearing devices for the 36 million Americans with hearing loss. The initiative also includes a new, primary care hearing test to help detect hearing deficits.
...2011... Tucson Medical Center and independent area physicians, with the help of UnitedHealth Group's Optum business, announce that they are creating the nation's first 'Sustainable Health Community,' based on an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model in which hospitals, physicians, residents, employers and others share in the risk and rewards of making the health system work better for everyone.
...2011 Ingenix launches Ingenix Life Sciences, a new division that focuses the company's broad expertise in commercialization, safety and regulatory services to identify, analyze and measure the value of life sciences products.
2012... UnitedHealthcare introduces a new mobile app, Health4Me, that brings important health information to people on the go. Features include easy access to registered nurses, personal health benefits information, and the ability to locate nearby physicians and hospitals.
UnitedHealthcare is making it easier for its plan participants to take greater control of their health through a new mobile app, Health4Me.
Learn more on the Innovation site>
...2012... UnitedHealthcare launches myHealthcare Cost Estimator, an online health resource that delivers a comprehensive view of how a treatment cost differs from doctor to doctor, and personalized cost estimates of different treatment options, comparable with the real fees and coverage levels that a person might encounter throughout the course of treatment.
myHealthcare Cost Estimator
Visit the UnitedHealthcare website for an overview and video demonstration of myHealthcare Cost Estimator
Learn more on the Innovation site>
...2012... UnitedHealthcare launches UHC.TV, an online health and entertainment network that provides originally produced video programming on a variety of health and wellness topics to help educate and inspire viewers to live healthy lives.
...2012... Acquired a majority ownership in Amil Participações S.A., Brazil’s largest health care company, providing health and dental benefits, hospital and clinical services, and advanced care management resources to more than 5 million people.
Outside the United States, Brazil is the largest and fastest growing private health care market in the Americas. Visit Amil >
...2012 Optum Care Suite, an integrated set of computer applications, is launched to help physicians and other health professionals access detailed health intelligence on patient, care system and population health, and collaborate to make medical care decisions and improve health outcomes.