OptumRx plans to open with 150 workers by midyear

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OptumRx intends to open its Jacksonville pharmacy benefits customer service center by July in Flagler Center and start with 150 employees.

External Communications Director David Himmel said Wednesday the center should open during the second quarter, pending completion of renovations to the office space.

A job fair is planned 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday at the Embassy Suites hotel along Baymeadows Road.

"We chose Jacksonville because of its robust, diverse labor market and welcoming business climate. Those are the key drivers," Himmel said in an email.

"Other drivers include geographic location and, frankly, the quality of life Jacksonville can offer our employees," he said.

Himmel said the company has operations nationwide, "so we can shift customer service from site to site if natural disasters or power outages occur."

Himmel said no government incentives were involved in the deal. He said starting salaries for entry-level customer service representatives range from $27,000-$30,000.

"We're a growing company with lots of opportunities for advancement," he said.

The Daily Record reported Wednesday that UnitedHealth Group plans a 300-job inbound call center for OptumRx.

"OptumRx is a growing company and it's possible that could be what we'll eventually have in place there," Himmel said of the job count.

UnitedHealth is advertising for Jacksonville employees, including a customer service director for OptumRx, which is a pharmacy benefits management organization.

That customer service director position's description is to "provide leadership for managers and supervisors as well as the 300 customer service advocates in an inbound call center environment" and to provide day-to-day oversight of a 24/7 call center. The company also seeks, but does not require, experience starting up a call center in a new location.

The available job listings include senior customer service representative, lead customer service representative, call center workforce supervisor, call center workforce representative, customer service quality/audit representative and on-site utilization management nurse.

For information about available jobs, visit http://careers.unitedhealthgroup.

The City issued a permit Tuesday for Auld & White Constructors LLC to remodel 47,853 square feet of space at 7159 Corklan Drive in Flagler Center for the operation.

The center will be built out at a cost of $1.5 million, according to the permit. The City also is reviewing a permit application for temporary training space for OptumRx at Flagler Center.

UnitedHealth Group, based in Minnetonka, Minn., is a health benefits services company. UnitedHealth Group operates through Optum and UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services.

"This expansion is part of our preparations to consolidate and manage UnitedHealthcare's commercial pharmacy benefit programs internally with OptumRx throughout 2013 when 12 million commercial members of UnitedHealthcare will transition to OptumRx for their pharmacy benefits," Himmel said.

Optum describes itself as an information and technology-enabled health services business that comprises three companies — OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx. It represents more than 35,000 employees worldwide.

OptumRx describes itself as a pharmacy benefits management business that manages the prescription drug benefits of commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental health plans, along with those of employers and unions through a national network of 64,000 community pharmacies and mail-service pharmacies in California and Kansas.

UnitedHealth Group said that it serves more than 75,000,000 people worldwide.

Himmel said UnitedHealthcare has other operations in Florida, but that OptumRx has no immediate plans in the state beyond the Jacksonville customer service center in Southside.

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