UnitedHealth revenue soars to $57B; Optum quietly picks up pharmacy in Q3

UnitedHealth Group posted strong results for the three months ended Sept. 30 and reported a previously undisclosed acquisition of a specialty pharmacy based in Phoenix.

Here are four things to know:

1. As a whole, UnitedHealth grew revenues 12.4 percent year over year to $56.6 billion in the third quarter of this year when compared to the same period last year. Its earnings from operations were up 12.3 percent year over year to $4.6 billion.

2 UnitedHealthcare, the company's health insurance arm, grew to serve 2.8 million more customers in the third quarter of 2018 when compared to the same period a year prior. This helped increase third quarter revenues 12.8 percent to $45.9 billion. Year over year, its Medicare Advantage business added more than half a million members, boosted by its Peoples Health acquisition.

3. Optum, UnitedHealth's healthcare services business, saw third quarter revenues climb to $25.4 billion, up 11 percent from the same period in 2017. Notably, Optum's prescription drug business acquired two pharmaceutical companies in the third quarter of this year: Genoa Healthcare and a previously undisclosed purchase of Avella Specialty Pharmacy. Financial details of the latter deal were not disclosed.

4. Year-to-date, UnitedHealth's profits are up 29 percent to $8.9 billion when compared to the first nine months of 2017.

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