United Healthcare CEO Profile and HCAN (HealthCare for America Now)
Posted Oct 09 2009 10:01pm
The Huffington Post did a long elaborate listing on the CEO, Hemsley and the company. You can read the entire section at the link below. Interesting too is that his chief lobbying employee came right from Goldman Sachs. Is this yet another Goldman Sachs connection in the politics of Washington and Wall Street?
United has to absolutely have the best composed and calculated algorithms in the business. You can read about a number of physician dermatology offices in San Diego that had all their insurance carriers quit honoring their claims within 5 days, the algorithms at work. This is potentially what “scoring” can do, looks like fraud with the algos, no pay and it’s all integrated to notify all payers by data transmission. Doctors and patients left out in the cold with no warning.
Stephen J. Hemsley is one of the most powerful people you've never heard of. But Health Care for America Now (HCAN) hopes to change that. Hemsley is the CEO of UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest insurance company in terms of revenue. Last year it made $75 billion in revenues and $4.6 billion in profits. It ranked No. 21 on Fortune's list of largest corporations. About 70 million Americans get their health insurance from UnitedHealth, headquartered in a Minneapolis suburb.
CEO Hemsley is an accountant by training. Before joining UnitedHealth he worked at Arthur Andersen, the giant accounting firm, where he was Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer. He joined United Health in 1997 and worked his way up to CEO by 2006.
In 2007, the company paid Hemsley $13.2 million in 2007. Last year, he had to get by on only $3.2 million. Fortunately for Hemsley, he has his own rainy-day fund; he owns $744 million in unexercised stock options. Despite the pay cut, Hemsley's job comes with quite a few perks. He travels on UnitedHealth's corporate jet, a Gulfstream Aerospace, which cost $37.5 million. And he lives in a lakeside mansion in suburban Wayzata, Minnesota, valued at $6.6 million by the Hennepin County Assessor.
In 2007, United Health hired Judah Sommer, who had run Goldman Sachs' lobbying operation, to head its influence-peddling effort. One of his first hires was Cory Alexander, former chief of staff for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), a moderate. Sommer oversees a staff of about 50 people in UnitedHealth's Washington, D.C. office on Pennsylvania Avenue, "equidistant between the Capitol and White House," observed Business Week in a recent article on the industry's political clout. Sommer also retained Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Senate Leader and now a lobbyist, who has advised UnitedHealth , off and on, since 2007. Tom Strickland recently shifted jobs from UnitedHealth's executive vice president and chief legal officer to chief of staff for Obama's Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Last year, UnitedHealth was caught in another scandal. One of its subsidiaries, Ingenix, determines the "customary" rates for medical care for health insurance companies -- a likely conflict-of-interest right there .
In the small world of big insurance companies, Stephen Hemsley is a major power-broker. HCAN hopes that the more people know about Hemsley, his lifestyle, and his influence-peddling, the more they will ask their Senators and Congressmembers: Which side are you on?