32 physicians leave Optum-owned medical group in 2 years

Eugene-based Oregon Medical Group is dropping some patients due to a lack of available physicians, 32 of whom have departed from the organization over the last two years, The Oregonian reported March 27.

Oregon Medical Group was purchased by UnitedHealth Group's Optum in 2020.

"As is the case across the healthcare industry, when a physician departs, we notify impacted patients and do our best to transfer their care to other providers," an Optum spokesperson told the news outlet. "The health and well-being of our patients is our top priority, and we are working with patients to ensure they have access to high-quality care."

The Lane County Medical Society said 32 physicians have left Oregon Medical Group over the last two years, with some physicians treating up to 2,800 patients, according to the report.

State Rep. Nancy Nathanson told the outlet she asked Optum directly how many physicians have left the group and how many patients have been affected.

"I'm still waiting for those numbers," she said. "The bottom line is that when our local medical community is expressing alarm, and the number of patients without doctors now could be in the thousands, we have a growing crisis in access to basic healthcare."

Oregon Medical Group previously was physician owned and has operated for more than 36 years. In 2021, Optum also purchased Portland-based GreenField Health.

In March, Oregon regulators said they will allow Optum to bypass a state review of its planned purchase of Corvallis Clinic, citing an immediate need to maintain the provider's financial solvency. Optum is the largest employer of physicians in the U.S., with almost 90,000 employed or affiliated physicians.

Becker's has reached out to Optum about The Oregonian report and will update this article if more information becomes available.

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