Optum strikes patient referral deal with Virginia Mason

Tacoma, Wash.-based Virginia Mason Franciscan Health has partnered with UnitedHealth Group's Optum Washington, with Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle operating as the physician group's primary acute-care referral center, according to the health system.

The Polyclinic, a 200-physician group that Optum acquired five years ago, will refer patients to VMMC when patients need inpatient treatment. 

Physicians and clinical leaders at Virginia Mason and Optum will also collaborate to coordinate care and provide in-network continuity for Optum patients — beginning with Polyclinic — and co-manage Virginia Mason's 25,000 Medicare Advantage patients.

The partnership leverages Optum's expertise in managing performance-based care plans, which prioritize improved patient outcomes and cost reduction by incentivizing providers based on the quality of care delivered, according to Virginia Mason. 

The move is the latest in a string of transactions and partnerships as Optum continues its impressive growth trajectory. Optum agreed a deal to acquire Amedisys, a home health company, in a $3.3 billion deal this month, following its $5.4 billion acquisition of LHC Group, a home health and hospice provider, in February. 

Optum did not respond to Becker's request for comment. 

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