Job Title: Vice President, Account Management, OptumHealth Public Sector Solutions
Type of Company: My company provides health services for millions of people worldwide and is a Fortune 25 company.
Education: BA, Spanish, Hamilton College MBA, College of Saint Rose
Previous Experience: I worked for a small human services organization in Syracuse, NY, which served Spanish-speaking people and also for New York state in the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
Job Tasks: My responsibilities include managing a team of account managers and customer relations specialists to retain and grow our customer base. More specifically, we run programs which help people who get their health care through publicly-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Our team is responsible for providing clear and meaningful reporting on the services we provide. We also negotiate and maintain service agreements that support regulatory requirements and which provide structure and oversight of our programs and services, and we support the rate renewal and sales processes, too.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part: seeing ways in which our services help people live healthier lives. More specifically, our wellness and disease management programs help people quit smoking and better manage their chronic illnesses. Reporting on program results for these services can be really rewarding
Worst part: Answering questions about poor performance. When our members have trouble accessing providers of care, or when we pay provider claims late or incorrectly, it can be difficult to respond.
Job Tips: Try to create a balance between clinical (i.e., medical or nursing) acumen and business (i.e., finance or accounting) acumen. In order to be effective in a competitive, changing health care market, you really need to understand and be able to apply concepts from both sides. If you understand something about both aspects of the business, you will be better able to communicate and connect with varying stakeholders: customers, providers, internal colleagues and people who receive the services you represent.
Additional Thoughts: Important personal qualities for working in a large, for-profit company include organization, tenacity and the ability to multi-task. Tenacity is really important because it can take time and lots of effort to make changes in a complex, fragmented health care system. Closing a complex sale or improving a system of care for poor, elderly or frail people does not happen easily. If it did, everyone would do it!
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