UnitedHealth Group Incorporated | AI Governance at UnitedHealth Group Incorporated

Status
Filed
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
UNH
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Digital rights
  • Human rights
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Health Care
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved: Shareholders request that UnitedHealth Group (“UHG”) prepare and publicly disclose on the Company’s website a transparency report that explains the Company’s use of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) in its business operations and the Board’s role in overseeing AI usage and sets forth any ethical guidelines that the company has adopted regarding its use of AI. This report shall be prepared at a reasonable cost and omit information that is proprietary, privileged, or violative of contractual obligations.
Supporting statement
Supporting Statement: The rapid development of AI in the insurance sector has raised significant social policy concerns and legal risks for the corporation[1], including potential discrimination or bias in coverage decisions[2], employment decisions, mass layoffs due to job automation, facility closures, the misuse and disclosure of private data, and the potential for false information[3].

A STAT investigation[4] reported that using unregulated predictive algorithms under the guise of scientific rigour is denying care to patients without their knowledge and regardless of whether they need the treatment. Before being acquired by UHG, Navi Health was reportedly used by health insurance companies to mine medical data and predict how many hours of therapy patients would need, which types of doctors they might see, and exactly when they could leave a hospital or nursing home. Recently,[5] a report suggested that Navi Health continues to use algorithms to delay or deny care for seniors in need despite being eligible for Medicare Advantage plans.

AI presents opportunities for competitive advantage and innovation while also presenting significant potential for risks. The use of AI raises compliance issues that require board oversight[6]. Boards need to understand and stay apprised of the various legislative and regulatory initiatives by the governments and oversee the company’s compliance as well as the development of relevant policies, information systems, and internal controls to ensure that AI use is consistent with legal, regulatory, and ethical obligations, with appropriate safeguards to protect against potential risks.

Transparency about that oversight and risk management is important for building trust with customers and investors. It helps those affected by AI decisions to understand the underlying reasons as well as how the decisions affect them . To ensure greater transparency, the company should commit to preparing a transparency report and responsible disclosures regarding AI systems to relevant stakeholders. The proactive disclosures must include the kind of data being used, the purpose of the data in the AI system and the company’s assessment of consequences for all stakeholders. This way, UHG could establish that it uses AI in a safe, responsible, and ethical manner that complements rather than replaces the work of its employees and values the public interest.

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