Optum's $4.3B DaVita acquisition, customer alignment & care-management strategy — 5 insights on Q2 results

UnitedHealth Group's total revenues grew by 9 percent year over year in the first half of 2019, with UnitedHealthcare and Optum contributing strongly to the results, according to UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann.

During a second-quarter earnings call, Mr. Wichmann and other executives of Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group discussed recent partnerships, quarterly results and strategy for the company's health services business, Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Optum.

Five takeaways from Seeking Alpha's transcription of the call:

David Wichmann: "Our recently completed combination with DaVita Medical Group meaningfully expands Optum Care's nationwide network of physicians. The John Muir Health strategic relationship announced [on July 17] … demonstrates the role Optum can play when it's fully aligned with its customers, serving the needs of local communities."

Andrew Witty, Optum CEO: "We have a very strong view that the best way forward in terms of improving quality [and] bringing down [the] total cost of care is to increasingly move toward value in terms of the management of the care continuum. That is very much the focus of the OptumCare strategy and is resonant throughout all of our various platforms. But it's also very clear that we're seeing more and more systems begin to look to move in that direction."

Andrew Witty: "We're exploring other new approaches along therapeutic lines such as chronic heart failure and musculoskeletal conditions to more comprehensively address care needs of those with significant health challenges. The right delivery of care by physicians would be pivotal to this agenda, as OptumCare seeks to coordinate each patient's care journey with a focus on proactive, preventive medicine, especially for those with the most acute need."

Wyatt Decker, OptumHealth CEO: "At OptumHealth, our care platform we call OptumCare is building the nation's leading value-based physician-led and patient-focused healthcare system. We're very pleased to have completed the acquisition of DaVita Medical Group, which combines another leading medical center with our practice. We feel confident that as we provide our clinical expertise, analytics and services to the DaVita Medical practices, you will see enhanced performance of the DaVita Medical Group and integration with our leading value-based practices."

Andrew Witty: "Creating value for those we serve translates to stronger financial performance. Over just the last three years, the revenue per consumer served by OptumHealth has grown by nearly 50 percent. In the quarter, OptumHealth total revenue grew 20 percent to $7.1 billion, while operating earnings advanced 21 percent to $688 million."

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