Optum's strategy in Las Vegas reveals how it plans to rapidly expand

Optum, the health services arm of UnitedHealth, has a network of 46,000 physicians and is slated for significant growth. UnitedHealth wants Optum's annual revenue to hit $100 billion by 2028, and the company has a plan to make that happen, according to Business Insider.

One way Optum plans to grow its business is by expanding beyond primary care and urgent care. An early example of the company's push into specialty healthcare is a cancer center in Las Vegas, which is only available to UnitedHealthcare members. 

OptumCare operates several health facilities in Southern Nevada, including primary care and urgent care clinics, and it opened a cancer center in Las Vegas in December 2018. Local physicians and medical practices operated by Optum refer about 600 patients to the cancer center each month. Optum operates an urgent care facility close to the cancer center where patients can go if they have side effects from their treatments. Physicians there can access the cancer center's EHR, according to the report.

The cancer center shows how Optum can use its primary care and urgent care centers to help it grow its specialty healthcare business. The company plans to use its expansive network of physicians and clinics to expand beyond oncology as well.

"Oncology is just the first step as we connect our capabilities to better manage chronic care," Optum CEO Andrew Witty said in a December presentation to investors, according to Business Insider. "Next year, you'll see us launch advanced care models in other high-cost areas, including cardiology."

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