Optum's presence in healthcare the past year: A timeline

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During the last year, UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Optum has continued to grow as a major presence in the healthcare industry, including expanding into telehealth and growing its physician team by 10,000 in 2021.

Here's a timeline of Optum's key updates, reported by Becker's Hospital Review. The breakdown includes Optum's moves since June 2020.

June 17, 2020: Optum Ventures led a funding round for DocASAP, an advanced patient access and engagement platform.

June 18, 2020: Optum led a $26 million funding round for smartphone-based chronic condition management startup Kaia Health.

July 14, 2020: The healthcare giant is partnering with Boulder (Colo.) Community Health to help the system remain independent and improve care for patients in the Boulder area.

July 15, 2020: Optum reported $32.7 billion revenue in the second quarter of 2020, a 16.7 percent increase even as some providers within its OptumCare division temporarily closed their offices during the pandemic.

Aug. 29, 2020: Heather Cianfrocco was named the CEO of OptumHealth Services.

September 2020: OptumRx released a report detailing three drugs that it expects to have a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry in 2020. 

Sept. 1, 2020: The California Department of Public Health and California Department of Technology extended a $15 million contract with OptumInsights to develop its new COVID-19 data-tracking system.

Oct. 14, 2020: OptumCare physicians had conducted about 1 million digital clinical visits as of Oct. 14, David Wichmann, then-CEO of Optum's parent company, UnitedHealth Group, said during the company's third-quarter earnings call.

Dec. 1, 2020: Then-Optum CEO Andrew Witty returned to the company after spending more than seven months helping the World Health Organization's COVID-19 vaccine initiative

Dec. 14, 2020: William Brady, the former chief of staff to the deputy secretary of HHS during the Trump administration, joined Optum as the vice president for digital.

Dec. 17, 2020: Diameter Health, a data optimization company focused on interoperability for healthcare organizations, closed an $18 million financing round, which included Optum Ventures and St. Louis-based insurer Centene.

January 2021: Nashville, Tenn.-based data analytics firm Change Healthcare said it was being acquired by Optum in a deal amounting to about $13 billion.

January 2021: OptumRx opened a new pharmacy fulfillment center in Charlotte, N.C.

March 1, 2021: Optum signed a definitive agreement to acquire Atrius Health, a 715-physician group based in Newton, Mass.

March 18, 2021: Optum is backing research by Boston Children's Hospital to find out the physical and mental health effects that social media has on children. 

April 15, 2021: Optum is on track to meet its growth goals in 2021, executives said during the first-quarter earnings call. The company plans to add 10,000 physicians in 2021. Optum now has 56,000 affiliated, contracted and employed physicians.

Optum's revenue grew to $36.4 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up from $32.8 billion the year prior. OptumHealth served 99 million people at the end of the first quarter, compared to 96 million people a year prior.

Optum Virtual Care was launched to provide telehealth in all 50 states.

April 22, 2021: OptumHealth CEO Wyatt Decker, MD, told Insider he plans to make Optum a $100 billion business by 2028.

April 28, 2021: Kaia Health closed a $75 million financing round, with an investment by Optum Ventures.

May 25, 2021: Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, N.Y., tapped Optum to provide IT and revenue cycle management services. The 500 Bassett Healthcare Network employees performing in-house functions will have the opportunity to transition to Optum. 

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