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Case Study:

– OPTUM: Realizing the ACO “Unicorn”

Optum, the services and technology arm of UnitedHealth Group, looked to LPP to launch and promote its newly-formed Accountable Care Solutions group at a time when every healthcare company was looking to ride the “ACO” wave. At the same time, Aetna, Optum’s biggest competitor, appeared to be leading the market with a number of customer win announcements. LPP strategy: counter with a thought leadership campaign, starting with message development that moved beyond healthcare industry buzzwords like “clinical coordination” and “improved outcomes,” and delivered what the media were really looking for – perspective on how ACOs were actually going to work and proof that today’s ACOs aren’t just another go at capitation from 1990s. LPP trained eight Optum executives with expertise in all areas of healthcare to create consistency in how they described the Accountable Care Solutions business, highlighted its differentiators and outlined how the future of care delivery would unfold (without confusing reporters or watching their eyes glaze over). From ongoing interviews with Optum thought leaders, LPP also consistently developed compelling points of view (POVs) around key topics like population health, patient adherence and care management, each proving that while ACOs may seem like unicorns, they will become a reality – they just won’t be a one-trick pony (sick of the horse metaphors yet?). LPP translated these POVs into weekly posts on Optum’s industry blog,, which, coupled with aggressive media outreach to key healthcare publications, drove 60 percent of Optum’s thought leadership coverage. After the first six months of LPP’s program, Optum’s thought leadership coverage eclipsed Aetna’s by 600 percent. 

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