WASHINGTON, D.C. – Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) announced today that UnitedHealth Group will be recognized with the 2017 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award – Large Law. The Award will recognize the partnership between UnitedHealth Group and Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) on their project “Review-A-Rama,” which benefits veterans pursuing disability compensation. CPBO is the global partnership project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). PBI will present the award at the 2017 PBI Annual Dinner on September 28 in New York.
UnitedHealth Group’s Legal, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs Department (LCRA) launched a formal pro bono program in 2008, the same year it became a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory. UnitedHealth Group’s LCRA employs more than 275 lawyers and over 1,000 non-lawyers in 85 offices around the U.S. Its pro bono policy encourages each attorney to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono services annually.
Review-A-Rama engages members of UnitedHealth Group’s LCRA around the country to review massive files of medical and military documents and provide detailed summaries to CVLC’s attorneys who represent veterans in disability benefit claims with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“This model shows us the impact that creative and committed partners can have,” said PBI President and CEO Eve Runyon. “UnitedHealth Group has created an exemplary model that serves crucial unmet legal needs, engages volunteers from dispersed and remote offices, and promotes greater efficiencies in the delivery of legal services.”
The partnership leverages UnitedHealth Group’s skills and interests to address a crucial bottleneck in CVLC’s workflow. UnitedHealth Group sought an opportunity to engage employees outside major campus locations where there may be fewer local opportunities for pro bono work while providing short-term, meaningful opportunities for both lawyers and other professionals within the department. CVLC needed detail-oriented, committed volunteers to analyze thousands of complex medical files on behalf of CVLC’s veteran clients and create evidentiary charts that CVLC’s attorneys could utilize to efficiently address veterans’ benefit claims. As a result of Review-A-Rama and UnitedHealth Group’s efforts, CVLC is able to offer full-scope representation to more veterans in need.
“UnitedHealth Group and CVLC’s partnership inspires all of us at ACC,” said ACC President and CEO Veta T. Richardson. “Their partnership is innovative as it utilizes an untapped resource of attorneys who might not be able to do pro bono at a clinic, but who now can assist our nation’s veterans from their desks.”
UnitedHealth Group and CVLC have hosted three Review-A-Ramas thus far. The first, in 2015, engaged 24 UnitedHealth Group employees located in Connecticut, while the second and third rounds were open to the Company’s offices nationwide. In the second round, 67 UnitedHealth Group employees participated, 21 veteran files were reviewed, and UnitedHealth Group employees processed over 14,000 pages of records. In the third round, 151 employees donated 1,416 hours, reviewing over 50,000 pages of records.
Over the course of these three iterations, the partners addressed a wide-range of logistical challenges and made numerous course-corrections to create a well-run, successful program. They created example documents, including a chart and sample review, and carefully selected file-sharing software that would support the effort. Additionally, UnitedHealth Group hosts learning conversations among the partners to share what’s working for them and to find creative improvements to the team’s current processes. Partners regularly communicate about lessons learned and new challenges they face with expansion.
“We thank PBI and CPBO for recognizing our partnership with CVLC,” said Marianne Short, UnitedHealth Group’s Chief Legal Officer. “We are always looking for ways to improve our pro bono partnerships, and we appreciate being recognized for our efforts on behalf of America’s military veterans. It is an honor and a privilege to help CVLC serve nearly 2,000 low-income veterans every year.”
About the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award
The award honors legal departments and the organizations with which they partner in the provision of legal services to those in need. The awardees are departments, law firms, and public interest organizations that have demonstrated an impact on their community through their partnership project, shown substantial involvement in the project by in-house lawyers, made tangible steps toward sustaining the relationship among the partners, developed innovative substantive or structural approaches in support of the partnership’s effort, and addressed a critical legal need or assisted a particularly vulnerable community or target group.
About Corporate Pro Bono
Founded in 2000, Corporate Pro Bono is a global partnership project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). CPBO’s mission is to explore and identify new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. CPBO does so by supporting, enhancing, and transforming the pro bono efforts of in-house legal departments in the U.S. and around the world. Since its inception, CPBO has worked with hundreds of legal departments and ACC chapters.
About Pro Bono Institute
Founded in 1996, Pro Bono Institute (PBI) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. With an unparalleled depth of knowledge, resources and expertise, PBI is the respected resource for all things pro bono. Through our work with law firms, in-house corporate legal departments, and public interest organizations, PBI is the global thought leader in exploring, identifying, evaluating, catalyzing, and taking to scale new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.
Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) helps veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income. Formed in 2009, CVLC was the first program in the United States to integrate legal services on-site at VA mental health facilities in medical-legal partnership (“MLP”). Hundreds of volunteer attorneys work with CVLC to help veterans resolve legal issues that destabilize their housing, employability, disability income, transportation, and family relationships. For more information, visit Connecticut Veterans Legal Center at https://ctveteranslegal.org