Would I used this, nope.  More and more we all know there’s a trade off for apps and services and of course I’m sure this is no different as we all know United is the king at gathering data, data and more data about you, so why would this be any different?  So it’s collected data from members already so let’s open it up and get some more data.  That’s the way these things work anymore and of course they do not have a lock on this as there are other areas you can to go to explore.

If you are not aware, the company subsidiary Med Quest already runs predictive analytics on your prescription refills so if not at the Optum PBM, formerly known as Prescriptive Solutions, they also supply the software that does the same thing for the likes of other PBMSs, such as Express Scripts too.  They get it both ways with the software here.  We don’t know what they are doing with this type of behavioral “scoring” but we do know they do sell our prescription records to maybe the likes of IMS, a huge data selling medical company that just went public.  That parts been going on for years with the data on prescriptions filled, but again what we don’t know is what type of scoring the Optum (or Milliman, another company that does the same) provides.  We expect the basics in maybe reviewing current drugs for any type of reaction and that’s ok but the predictive analytics is the dangerous side.  A good read here too “The Scoring of America” from the World Privacy Forum and you’ll understand the insanity we have in the US after reading this and the data selling epidemic. 

In addition we have most health insurance companies also buying your Master Card records of late and again we don’t we have no clue what other data tables they query this with either.  I started calling it “data flipping” as that’s what it is as your data gets queried over and over and over and then “scored”.  When you  get a “score” there’s a new type of data for sale.   I did warn everyone twice last year that Master Card was on this big new campaign to sell all our data and I used their own announcements to let you know. 

Mastercard As Well As Other Financial Institutions Using Big Data To Get Into Your “Online Pants” As Many Consumers Seem To Be Accidentally And Inadvertently Leaving Their “Internet Fly” Open
Mastercard Recruiting Software Engineers For New e-Commerce Technology Lab, Maybe More Slicing and Dicing of Our Data To Sell to Insurance Companies for One? Be Wary of Corporate “Algo Dupers” Out There Feeding on “Non Skeptical Consumers”…

You can see how far it went with MasterCard convincing this hospital, and they bought it and got sucked in withimage buying transaction records with patients.  See how this hospital is also combining other records with the MasterCard transactions they are buying so you know if they are doing it insurers have a whale of a game going on here and again so much of it will be “out of context” as the analytics folks put things into format that will save money and you just might be the bad guy here. 

Oh Crap, Now Hospitals Are Now Buying Data From Acxiom - Data Selling Epidemic Continues to Evade on Personal Privacy As “Algo Duped-Stat Rat” People Try to Implement Virtual Models That Won’t Work…

Heck Acxiom and LexisNexis will do anything to make a buck and just make our lives miserable.  ..

It is interesting when you watch how subsidiaries of insurers too react and do business together as this example from a few years back where Cigna dropped their claims clearinghouse, Emdeon and went with Optum (then Ingenix) so keep that in mind when you see insurers grouping together as well.  Here’s another interesting acquisition from a couple years ago too.

QualityMetric/Ingenix(United HealthCare) Receives Patent for Patient Health Survey Algorithms-Subsidiary Watch

HHS and CMS have had a long term relationship with United as well and here’s a link from a few years ago as it’s kind of an unspoken from a recent source that told me that every time they get stuck, CMS and HHS have just called up United to do modeling for them.  At the  link below you can see how much HHS just loved those Ingenix algorithms.  By the way Andy Slavitt, the #2 person now at CMS used to be the CEO at Ingenix. 

"Reach for the Top" Program Combines Prototype from Ingenix (A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of United Healthcare) for Public/Private Community Health Data on HHS.Gov Site

So again with already buying credit card statements and heck who knows if the insurers share the wealth amongst themselves with our data there and recording our voices at a call center, there’s no way I am going even think about using such an app.  Let’s say you look up the cost of a hernia for an example, for a friend not even for you.  The way all of this works is that the search is on file and can be set to match with any other type of information as it could be matched with your prescription data, or your voice “scoring” files that are made when you speak to the call centers. 

Again we don’t know and thus the reason to get Congress to pass a law for all data sellers and distributors to buy a license so we know who they are and what kind of data they sell and to who.  I would not touch this app with a 10 foot pole and will other resources for sure.  We are tired as consumers of playing the “click algo game” and when we are sick we just want care as I said below “People don’t work that way”.  

“People Don’t Work That Way” A World of Broken Software Models That Don’t Align To the Human Side,Too Much Push At Times With Only A Proof of Concept That Fails in the Real World..

If you like I’m trying to do something here with getting a law passed to license all data sellers as when we need to fix something, we are screwed after we have been “data flipped” a number of times as it might get fixed once here, but over there when I don’t know that my data was sold, I can’t even begin to know where to go.  If you read here often enough then you have read 3 years of posts here and there with what I have been working on with this project and without an index on all the data sellers, might as well just “can” privacy as you can see none of it has worked and we need step one to provide an index..aka a license.  BD  

Insurer UnitedHealthcare has joined the growing list of companies providing mobile apps to price shop for medical treatments.

The Health4Me app, available to members and non-members, provides average prices for more than 520 medical services, the company announced this week. Prices are based on local averages.

"Giving consumers access to important medical cost information is improving transparency and making it easier for people to navigate the health care system," said Yasmine Winkler, UnitedHealthcare's chief product, marketing and innovation officer, in a press release.

The company said that more than 900,000 of its members are using the service. It is available through both the iPhone and Android app stores.

Medical price "transparency" has become a big issue in the industry, and a growing number of insurers and independent groups have scrambled in recent years to offer that service.



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