Optum to add 10,000 physicians & 3 other growth strategy details

UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann outlined how Optum, which includes Surgical Care Affiliates, will grow in the coming year during a Jan. 20 earnings call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

Four notes:

1. The company has 50,000 employed or affiliated physicians and plans to add 10,000 more this year.

2. OptumCare has 1,400 clinics nationwide and aims to build local physician-led systems of care.

3. OptumHealth's ASCs are continuing to recover business and are now operating near baseline.

4. Of the 20 million patients OptumCare serves, 20 percent are in value-based arrangements. Executive Vice President and CFO of UnitedHealth Group John Rex said he expects the number of patients served and the volume of value-based arrangements to accelerate this year.

"When we affiliate with physician groups, many of them come in largely fee-for-service arrangements, and then we seek to convert those to risk arrangements or with more accountability, more value-based care over several years," said Mr. Rex. "When you look at the overall revenue growth story of that company, it is predominantly an organic revenue growth story just because of that."

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