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

During the last year, Optum, UnitedHealth Group's pharmacy benefit manager and care services group, has continued to grow as a major presence in the healthcare industry.

Here's a timeline of Optum's key updates, reported by Becker's Hospital Review. The breakdown includes Optum's moves since June 2019.

June 24, 2019: Optum acquires healthcare technology startup PatientsLikeMe from Chinese company iCarbonX.

July 17, 2019: Optum announces its partnership with John Muir Health to help the system remain independent and become more competitive in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sept. 9, 2019: Optum Ventures and Premera Blue Cross co-lead a $24 million series B financing round for Vim, a platform aiming to foster collaboration between healthcare providers and payers.

Sept. 13, 2019: Optum acquires payment-processing platform Equian in a transaction valued at $3.2 billion.

Sept. 17, 2019: Optum Ventures leads the $8 million funding round for Kaia Health, which is developing a smartphone-based technology for chronic condition management. 

Oct. 15, 2019: Optum records third-quarter revenue of $28.8 billion, up 13.3 percent year over year.

Oct. 16, 2019: Optum launches SignatureValue Harmony Network, undertaking a new effort to combine health insurance and medical care.

October 24, 2019: A study published in American Association for the Advancement of Science reveals that an Optum algorithm exhibits significant racial bias and reduces the number of black patients identified for extra care by more than half.

Oct. 30, 2019: Optum acquires Vivify Health, a startup offering providers and payers a mobile, cloud-based platform for remote patient care management.

Nov. 11, 2019: UnitedHealth Group appoints Sir Andrew Witty to serve as its president in addition to his role as CEO of Optum.

Dec. 3, 2019: During its 2019 investor conference, Optum reveals the U.S. addressable market for its services exceeds $850 billion and it expects to grow in the mid-single-digit annual percent rate over the next several years.

Dec. 4, 2019: UnitedHealth Group president Sir Andrew Witty announces Optum is taking a "city by city" approach when rolling out its healthcare initiatives.

Dec. 9, 2019: OptumRx announces it will pay about $4 per share in cash for Flint, Mich.-based Diplomat Pharmacy, a deal valued at about $300 million. 

Jan. 13, 2020: Amar A. Desai, MD, former president of El Segundo, Calif.-based HealthCare Partners, becomes the new president and CEO of UnitedHealth's Optum in California.

Jan. 15, 2020: Optum's fourth-quarter profits outpace the fourth-quarter profits of UnitedHealthcare, a trend that has held true for the past five years. Optum reported $29.8 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, an 8 percent increase year over year.

Feb. 19, 2020: Optum Ventures, the company's independent investment fund, funnels an undisclosed amount of funding into Scipher Medicine, a startup developing molecular diagnostic technology.

Feb. 25, 2020: James Rechtin, president of OptumCare, leaves the company to join Envision Healthcare as president and CEO.

March 12, 2020: Optum leads an $8.2 million Series A funding round for Heartbeat Health, a data-driven cardiology telehealth platform.

April 15, 2020: Optum reports first-quarter revenue hit $32.8 billion, a 24.6 percent year-over-year increase.

April 15, 2020: Optum CEO Sir Andrew Witty takes a leave of absence to help lead the World Health Organization's COVID-19 vaccine initiative, slated to return after the assignment.

April 27, 2020: Optum reportedly is in talks with AbleTo, a New York-based telehealth company focused on mental health services, as a potential target for acquisition.

May 18, 2020: Optum begins a new contract with Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville to manage revenue cycle services.

May 18, 2020: Optum Ventures and Health Catalyst Capital lead a new funding round to invest millions in a data science and health technology company that is building a large real-world evidence platform for behavioral health and chronic diseases

May 22, 2020: Optum acquires post-acute care management platform naviHealth.

June 9, 2020: Patrick Conway, MD, announces on Twitter that he joined Optum as its CEO of Care Solutions.

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