How UnitedHealth plans to make Optum a $100B business

UnitedHealth Group bought its first medical practice 15 years ago and now aims to make providing healthcare its next $100 billion business, according to Insider

UnitedHealth Group's OptumCare business comprises 56,000 physicians and 1,600 clinics, and it's on track to add at least 4,000 affiliated, contracted and employed physicians this year. OptumCare is the bulk of a business unit called OptumHealth, and executives are aiming to grow it from a $40 billion business to a $100 billion one by 2028, according to the report. 

OptumHealth CEO Wyatt Decker, MD, told Insider that moving physicians into "value-based" arrangements and away from fee-for-service care is one way the business will grow revenue. He said physicians will be paid to keep patients healthy rather than billing health plans for every patient visit or test.

"We're paid to keep people healthy and well, which is what most people want," Dr. Decker told Insider. "When you begin to pencil out the math, as we move people into value-based arrangements, that will be a major driver of how we'll move to a $100 billion book of business."

OptumCare is also investing in virtual care. It has deployed a new virtual care platform, called Optum Virtual Care, across all 50 states. With the new offering, the goal is to integrate care provided at brick-and-mortar clinics with virtual care, home care and behavioral care, executives said during UnitedHealth's first-quarter earnings call. 

OptumCare is a fast-growing business for UnitedHealth, and it has deals in the works to continue that growth. The company announced in March that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Atrius Health, a 715-physician group based in Newton, Mass. 

More articles on healthcare finance:
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Hospital chain reports late payroll, cash deficiencies
Hospital adjusted expenses per inpatient day across 50 states 

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