Ingenix name retired as United re-brands subsidiaries
■ The insurer, which owned the disputed claims database, says the decision was "driven by what our clients told us they need."
United HealthGroup's health data subsidiary Ingenix, once known for its role in setting out-of-network physician payments, now will be known as OptumInsight.
The change, announced April 11, is part of a re-branding of the company's health services line. Its prescription drug management subsidiary Prescription Solutions will become OptumRx. The third business, OptumHealth, which holds health savings accounts, offers wellness education and sells specialty benefits, will retain its name.
For many physicians and others in the health care field, the Ingenix name referred only to databases of claims information that actually had their own names -- the Prevailing Healthcare Charges System and Medical Data Research, once the most commonly used benchmarking tools to determine out-of-network pay rates.
Ingenix was forced to shutter that business after an investigation by and subsequent settlement with the New York attorney general's office.
At the time, Andrew Cuomo, then New York's attorney general and now governor, said the databases were skewed to produce lower payment rates for physicians and patients for out-of-network care. Cuomo ordered Ingenix to stop producing the database as soon as a new, independently derived and operated database could be created. That new database, FAIR Health, is now operational and has replaced the PHCS and MDR products.
In the meantime, Ingenix continued to operate its other business lines, which include clinical trials on behalf of other companies; health IT consulting with hospitals, physicians and health plans; and health claims data analysis. Ingenix also has a combined electronic medical records and practice management system called CareTracker. Among other places, CareTracker is available through Amagine, an online physician platform founded by the American Medical Association.
Company spokeswoman Christine Farazi said the decision to re-brand was not driven by negative publicity linked to the Ingenix brand.
"The decision to unify our brand presence under the Optum master brand was absolutely driven by what our clients told us they need -- a simpler way to identify and access the broad range of services that we collectively offer, amidst the dynamic and complex challenges they are facing today," she said in an e-mailed statement.
"Our research indicates that the Ingenix name leads the field amongst our clients in other important attributes such as being innovative, having ideas worth listening to and delivering high quality products and services. We are confident that this brand equity can transfer to the OptumInsight name as we continue to build the overall Optum master brand."