UnitedHealth testing 500 AI use cases

UnitedHealth Group is running around 500 use-case applications for AI across the organization, CEO Andrew Witty told investors. 

Speaking at a conference on May 29, Mr. Witty said some of the company's AI efforts are "low-hanging" opportunities aimed at speeding up administrative processes. 

"It's not Einstein opportunities," he said. "These are relatively straightforward. Some of them are already underway. They play out in areas like speed, allowing call handlers to deal with issues faster than they used to." 

Heather Cianfrocco, CEO of Optum, told investors Optum's AI efforts are focused in two areas. 

"One is administrative support, particularly for clinicians, giving clinicians time back at home or in the office," Ms. Cianfrocco said. "The second area I would highlight is identifying disease progression, or emerging disease, faster." 

UnitedHealth Group executives previously said AI additions to UnitedHealth Group's customer service offerings helped boost the company's net promoter scores, a measure of customer satisfaction. 

Mr. Witty told investors the company is "not in the business of replacing clinicians with computers." 

UnitedHealth Group is facing a lawsuit alleging it used an AI algorithm to wrongfully deny care to Medicare Advantage patients. The tool, naviHealth Predict, is not used to make coverage determinations, the company previously told Becker's. 

"We have a very strict internal and external government board around all of what we do in AI," Mr. Witty said. "We're focused on making sure there is a human in the loop anytime you get close to what you would characterize as clinical." 

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