Optum doubles down on orthopedics, VBC

In 2023, OptumHealth saw 900,000 more patients under value-based care, according to a Jan. 12 call with investors transcribed by Seeking Alpha

"Value-based care for us is a proven way of overcoming many of the widely recognized shortcomings of a fee-for-service-based health system such as fragmented consumer experiences and incentives, that can emphasize volume over quality," UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty said on the earnings call. 

Here are four more notes from the call:

1. In the first half of 2023, Optum saw high volumes of outpatient care for older adults, particularly with orthopedic and cardiac procedures.

2. In 2023, OptumHealth in total served more than 4 million patients in value-based arrangements in partnership with health plans. By the end of 2024, Optum Health aims to serve at least another 750,000. 

3. UnitedHealthcare added more than 1.7 million consumers in its Medicare and commercial offerings.

4. The number of contract splits UnitedHealthcare saw in 2023 was comparable to other years. 

"Specific to the Medicare Advantage space, we did have some deals that came down to the wire," Brian Thompson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare, told investors. "But again, on average, there was really not much change overall compared to historical periods of disruption."

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