Monitor Mondays

Anatomy of an Algorithm: Optum Algorithm Under Fire for Alleged Racial Bias

November 04, 2019
Monitor Mondays
Anatomy of an Algorithm: Optum Algorithm Under Fire for Alleged Racial Bias
Chapters
Monitor Mondays
Anatomy of an Algorithm: Optum Algorithm Under Fire for Alleged Racial Bias
Nov 04, 2019
Chuck Buck | Howard Stein, MD | Knicole Emanuel, Esq. | David Glaser, Esq. | Ellen Fink-Samnick | Alvin Gore, MD | Edward C. Roche, JD, PhD

Giant healthcare insurer Optum has been in the news this week, and the news isn’t particularly favorable.

The results of a study published last week by Science revealed what researchers identified as a "significant racial bias" in Optum’s algorithm, which reportedly undervalues the healthcare needs of black patients. Although Science didn’t mention Optum by name, other news organizations have confirmed that it was, indeed, Optum.

Reporting on this developing story during this edition of Monitor Mondays is RACmonitor investigative reporter and New York attorney Edward Roche, director of business intelligence for Barraclough New York LLC.

Other segments to be featured on the broadcast include the following:

  • RAC Report: Healthcare attorney Knicole Emanuel reports on the status of the Medicaid lawsuit in which more than two dozen Virginia behavioral healthcare providers had their managed care contracts terminated by six managed care organizations (MCOs). Emanuel, a member of the RACmonitor editorial board, is a partner in the Potomac Law Group.

  • Ring of Fire: Dr. Alvin Gore, the physician advisor at St. Joseph Health in Santa Rose, Calif., reports on disaster planning in the wake of horrific wildfires burning out of control in Northern California. Shortages of nurses who were ordered to evacuate is one of the many emergencies he continues to monitor as the fire rages.

  • Risky Business: Healthcare attorney David Glaser returns to Monitor Mondays with his trademark segment, in which he reports on problematic issues facing providers.

  • SDoH Report: Ellen Fink-Samnick, a nationally recognized expert on the social determinants of health (SDoH), has the latest news on a trending topic that is attracting significant media attention. Ellen also conducts the Monitor Mondays Listener Survey.

  • Monday Rounds: Substituting for Dr. Ronald Hirsch, is Dr. Howard Stein, associate director of medical affairs and physician advisor in care management at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey. 
Show Notes

Giant healthcare insurer Optum has been in the news this week, and the news isn’t particularly favorable.

The results of a study published last week by Science revealed what researchers identified as a "significant racial bias" in Optum’s algorithm, which reportedly undervalues the healthcare needs of black patients. Although Science didn’t mention Optum by name, other news organizations have confirmed that it was, indeed, Optum.

Reporting on this developing story during this edition of Monitor Mondays is RACmonitor investigative reporter and New York attorney Edward Roche, director of business intelligence for Barraclough New York LLC.

Other segments to be featured on the broadcast include the following:

  • RAC Report: Healthcare attorney Knicole Emanuel reports on the status of the Medicaid lawsuit in which more than two dozen Virginia behavioral healthcare providers had their managed care contracts terminated by six managed care organizations (MCOs). Emanuel, a member of the RACmonitor editorial board, is a partner in the Potomac Law Group.

  • Ring of Fire: Dr. Alvin Gore, the physician advisor at St. Joseph Health in Santa Rose, Calif., reports on disaster planning in the wake of horrific wildfires burning out of control in Northern California. Shortages of nurses who were ordered to evacuate is one of the many emergencies he continues to monitor as the fire rages.

  • Risky Business: Healthcare attorney David Glaser returns to Monitor Mondays with his trademark segment, in which he reports on problematic issues facing providers.

  • SDoH Report: Ellen Fink-Samnick, a nationally recognized expert on the social determinants of health (SDoH), has the latest news on a trending topic that is attracting significant media attention. Ellen also conducts the Monitor Mondays Listener Survey.

  • Monday Rounds: Substituting for Dr. Ronald Hirsch, is Dr. Howard Stein, associate director of medical affairs and physician advisor in care management at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey. 
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