Optum relies on tech as revenue jumps 16.7% in Q2 to $32.7B: 8 points on the present and future

UnitedHealth Group and Optum leveraged technology and data analytics capabilities to guide its providers through the pandemic, and UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann said the company will double-down on digital initiatives in the future.

Optum reported $32.7 billion in quarterly revenue, a 16.7 percent increase even as some providers within its OptumCare division temporarily closed their offices during the pandemic.

"The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the adoption of new technologies and approaches to care," said Mr. Wichmann during the second quarter earnings call. "We're serving people where they want to be served, and more often in the home, which is becoming a preferred additional care setting through new, innovative digital offerings."

Eight things to know:

1. In April, UnitedHealthcare facilitated more than 4 million digital care visits, nearly 30 times more than it enabled in January.

2. Mr. Wichmann expects digital and home care trends to continue in the coming years, and the company is rapidly assembling its next-generation platform that leverages Vivify's digital signaling and monitoring, Rally's engagement capabilities and its artificial intelligence-enabled Individual Health Record. The platform also includes a scalable telehealth solution that connects patients to their doctors.

3. Optum now has more than 10,000 care providers using its virtual visit platform and it has extended digital psychiatry offerings to community behavioral health clinics. Optum has 120,000 physicians all together.

4. Optum partnered with Boulder (Colo.) Community Health to run the system's data and analytics, revenue cycle management and care coordination. Optum is hiring 275 of the health system's employees as part of the effort.

5. The company is continuing to focus on how information and technology can enable ambulatory care and pharmacy capacities within Optum.

6. OptumHealth's earnings were up 22 percent year-over-year. OptumInsights second quarter earnings were up 7 percent over the same period last year, hitting $19.4 billion.

7. UnitedHealthcare and Optum are working with Yale School of Medicine to use artificial intelligence to examine data about ACE inhibitor use among older adults who test positive for COVID-19. The partners are working to rapidly scale a 10,000-person virtual clinical trial to understand racial disparity in outcomes.

8. The companies are focused on broadening health equity initiatives as well, using data, information and analytics to guide scientific efforts that will help eliminate health disparities.

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