Innovation driven culture at Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group

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Innovation driven culture at Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group

Monday, August 5, 2019

At Optum, the fastest growing part of UnitedHealth Group, innovation isn’t restricted to a team, business or location. Innovation is in our DNA and we invest in service of a future where health care serves everyone better. We shared a series of questions with our colleagues asking how they and their teams create an impact through serial innovation. Hear what they have to say:

Prashant S. - Senior Engineering Manager, Optum

“Passionate about engineering a simpler and robust health care system, and reducing the cost of care for individuals”


1. How do you describe your job to your friends and family?

My job is to engineer new solutions and to ensure a seamless experience for our customers. When patients use their health account to pay for the care they received or get reimbursed for their health care expense, we want to make it as easy as possible for them. Also, we make sure each health provider receives timely and accurate payments for the care they provide to individuals we serve.

2. How long have you been with Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, and what has your journey looked like?

My exciting journey with Optum started eleven years ago as a Senior Software Engineer. During my career with Optum, I’ve had the chance to play different roles and today I am working as a Senior Engineering Manager.

3. At Optum, how is innovation at the forefront of the work we are doing in India?

Innovation is in the DNA of Optum! We have a strong culture in India to transform our customer experience by leveraging our engineering capability, technology transformation, digital experience, health care knowledge in an environment of collaboration across different departments.

4. What are some innovative projects that you and your teams are working on that you can share?

One of our recent projects was related to improving the digital experience for OptumBank customers. They now have one intelligent card which automatically determines if the consumer’s health care account or consumer’s personal account should be used for eligible or qualified health care expenses as opposed to their old experience of maintaining multiple cards/accounts.

Here’s a short Video about Optum Wallet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HyHs2lNSBc

5. Why is working at Optum different from working anywhere else?

I believe the most important differentiator is Optum’s culture of constant innovation. It’s one of the key cultural elements and everyone collaborates openly to incubate innovative thoughts.

6. What opportunities are there for employees to grow in your department?

Considering the high importance of claim payments, reimbursement and health account management for individuals and health care providers within Optum, there are opportunities to directly influence enrich and positively impact our customers’ experience every day. Folks who aspire to impact consumer experience with innovation, technology, business and process-based solutions can explore a multitude of avenues that lie within the health care financial world concerning the speed of payments, payment methods, and digital health account management.

7. What is one thing you wish people knew about our company? What do you think would surprise them?

I think people will be surprised by the strength of our culture and values. Our leaders engage with everyone to inculcate a common culture and foster a highly empowered working environment.

8. What are your passions outside of work and how do they contribute to your innovation role at Optum?

I am globetrotter and have experienced multiple adventure sports (skydiving, zip line, rappelling, rock climbing, hiking, etc.). Adventure sports inspire me to take calculated risks and traveling inspires me to explore something new. I believe these two are a very important influence on innovative thinking.

9. How does your innovative work have an impact on the people in the communities we serve?

Optum’s health care account is a unique way to reduce the cost of care which has a direct impact on individuals' lives and financial situations. Every day we focus to bring innovations to help individuals understand and utilize new ways of using their health care account effectively to reduce their cost of care. At present more than five million individuals benefit by hosting their health care account in OptumBank!

Optum’s payment system significantly reduces paper and administration overhead for health providers. Currently more than 1.4 Million providers benefit by Optum’s electronic payment solution!

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