Optum expects to add 10,000 physicians this year

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OptumCare, the part of UnitedHealth Group that provides direct patient care, plans on adding thousands of physicians in the next year, UnitedHealth's CEO said during a Jan. 20 earnings call.

Currently, OptumCare employs or is affiliated with 50,000 physicians and 1,400 clinics. OptumCare expects that its employed and affiliated physicians will grow by at least 10,000 during 2021, according to UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann.

"This work of building local, physician-led systems of care continues to be central to our mission and is accelerating with notable progress in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Southern California in 2020," Mr. Wichmann said.

The statement comes as UnitedHealth posted a profit of $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, down about 38 percent from $3.5 billion in the same period of 2019. In its Jan. 20 financial release, UnitedHealth said the declines were expected as care patterns normalized and costs related to COVID-19 care grew.

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