Prior authorization changes and paperless policies led UnitedHealth Group to cut its paper usage by 1 billion pieces, according to the company's sustainability report.
The company cut its inbound paper volume by 24 percent in 2022, according to the report. In 2022, UnitedHealthcare shifted to electronic communications to providers for prior authorization and clinical decisions.
Digital provider document delivery increased 200 percent from 2021 to 2022, according to the report. Around 40 percent of its current paper use is due to regulatory requirements, UnitedHealth Group said in the report.
The company also cut its use of envelopes by 90 percent in 2022.
"Beyond the environmental impact, reducing paper usage has also improved the speed and simplicity of our communications with consumers and providers by replacing paper-based communications with digital tools," the company said in the report.