Optum breaks into lab benefit management: 4 things to know

UnitedHealth Group company Optum is launching a lab benefit management platform aimed at reducing unnecessary lab testing.

"Lab testing is one of the most common touch points in healthcare and the benefit health plan members use most often," Optum Senior Vice President and General Manager Rob Mayer said. "This new solution will help health plans determine which tests are clinically proven, streamline decisions and automate processes to significantly reduce unnecessary testing for their members and increase cost savings."

Four things to know: 

1. The platform could usher in $12 to $36 in savings per member annually, Optum said in a news release. Cumulatively, the savings would total $3 billion per year.

2. Optum said the platform would automate much of the administrative functions of lab benefit management.

3. The platform includes a team of clinical experts to develop evidence-based lab policies and evaluate new tests in genomics. "Testing is expanding so rapidly that most clinicians do not have the bandwidth to stay up-to-date on which ones are the highest quality. …This laboratory benefit management solution leverages deep clinical expertise to help guide clinicians to the tests with the highest clinical validity and utility," Optum Genomics Chief Medical Officer Jill Hagenkord, MD, said. 

4. All health plans can make use of Optum's lab benefit management platform.

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