Optum, SSM Health end partnership

St. Louis-based SSM Health and UnitedHealth Group's Optum have ended their administrative partnership around inpatient care management, digital transformation and revenue cycle management, an SSM Health spokesperson confirmed with Becker's.

The health system declined to provide any additional information when asked on Jan. 3. 

The partnership was announced in October 2021 and formally began in early 2022. The deal included the hiring of about 2,100 SSM employees by Optum.

"We don't have the capability to do everything — no one does," SSM President and CEO Laura Kaiser told Becker's in 2021. "And so we started, as part of our strategy, to look for partners and how do we not duplicate, but rather collect and lean in together to get farther down the road."

Hospitals and health systems that have previously outsourced administrative functions to Optum include Waukesha, Wis.-based ProHealth Care; Cooperstown, N.Y.-based Bassett Healthcare Network; Greenbrae, Calif.-based MarinHealth; Boulder (Colo.) Community Health; Walnut Creek, Calif.-based John Muir Health; Brewer, Maine-based Northern Light Health; Owensboro (Ky.) Health; and Tacoma, Wash.-based Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

SSM Health includes 23 hospitals and more than 300 physician offices and other outpatient and virtual care services. It employs 40,000 people.

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