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UnitedHealth in the headlines: 14 updates in 60 days

UnitedHealth Group, parent company of Optum Health and ASC management company Surgical Care Affiliates, saw a busy June and July. Here are 14 UnitedHealth updates from the last 60 days:

1. Agilon Health on June 28 appointed former UnitedHealth Group legal executive Denise Zamore as the company's first chief legal officer and secretary to its board of directors, effective Aug. 1. Ms. Zamore previously served as deputy general counsel at UnitedHealth Group's Optum unit.

2. UnitedHealth Group said it had been actively preparing for the overturning of Roe v. Wade and is reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court's June 24 opinion. 

3. Signify Health named Paymon Farazi chief product officer June 24. Mr. Farazi was previously chief product officer at UnitedHealth Group's OptumInsight, where he was part of the Optum deal to bid on Change Healthcare for $13 billion and acquire Equian for $3.2 billion.

4. On June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear UnitedHealthcare's appeal of a CMS rule meant to recoup Medicare Advantage overpayments from payers. The federal rule, first implemented in 2014, requires a payer to refund payments to CMS within 60 days if it learns a diagnosis lacks medical record support. The argument stems from whether CMS must ensure there is actuarial equivalence between Medicare Advantage payments and traditional fee-for-service Medicare payments.

5. LHC Group shareholders gave their approval for the Lafayette, La.-based home health firm to be purchased by Optum June 21. UnitedHealth Group and LHC first announced the $5.4 billion deal March 29. UnitedHealth Group said at the time the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year. 

6. Optum launched a comprehensive laboratory benefit management program June 22 aimed at helping payers reduce unnecessary lab testing and ensuring that members can receive high-quality tests most appropriate for them.

7. UnitedHealth Group was named among the 50 most community-minded companies in the U.S. June 16 in Points of Light's 10th annual "Civic 50 honorees" list.

8. Optum is canceling in-network services with mental health startup Cerebral in August, a spokesperson for UnitedHealth Group's behavioral health arm told Business Insider June 13. 

9. The Federal Trade Commission is requesting additional information regarding the proposed acquisition of the LHC Group by Optum, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed June 10. The request also extends the waiting period the FTC is allowed to challenge the proposal under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 until the 30th day after "substantial compliance" with the request.

10. The United Health Foundation said June 8 it is making a $100 million investment over the next 10 years to advance health equity by helping to build a more racially and ethnically diverse healthcare workforce. New programs and partnerships will be used to provide scholarships and support to 10,000 future clinicians and healthcare professionals. That support will help fund academic degrees or other professional credentials in medicine, nursing, midwifery, mental health and other specialties.

11. Optum Health's former chief health officer and senior vice president of population health, Seth Serxner, PhD, was named chief health officer of digital communications company EdLogics July 21.

12. UnitedHealth Group's Optum is working with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi to offer a 30-day supply of insulin products for $35 to uninsured diabetics.

13. The trial over a Justice Department challenge to the $13 billion proposed merger of UnitedHealth Group's Optum and Change Healthcare began Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C. Though originally expected to close in the second half of 2021, the deal has been heavily scrutinized by medical groups and federal agencies and has broader implications for the Biden administration's ability to expand and enforce federal antitrust regulations.

14. UnitedHealth Group saw double-digit revenue growth over the last three months driven by continued member growth under UnitedHealthcare and value-based arrangements at Optum Health, according to the company's second quarter 2022 earnings report released July 15.

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