OptumCare drives growth in 2019, expects more risk-based contracts

Last year, Optum revenues jumped 11.5 percent, reaching $113 billion. OptumHealth revenues were up 26 percent to $30.3 billion, led by OptumCare, which includes Surgical Care Affiliates.

In 2020, the company expects more growth. "We are steadily expanding into new geographies and expanding the depth and breadth of services in existing regions to further provide patients with the highest quality, convenient and affordable health services," said President and CEO of Optum Andrew Witty during the company's earnings call, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

During the call, an analyst asked whether physicians taking on more risk is a positive or negative trend for UnitedHealth Group. Mr. Witty responded that the company sees physicians as a "central element" to achieving higher quality and lower costs.

"As we see physicians move toward taking more risk, we see improvements across the board in terms of resource allocation, prevention, focus, and ensuring clinical outcome is maximized," he said. "We are very encouraged by that trend."

In 2020, the company expects around 150,000 more patients to participate in physician risk managed programs through OptumCare. Now the company is focused on developing services inside data analytics to manage the patient's overall risk profile.

"You see that trend reflected in the relentless growth of the revenue per patient served across OptumHealth," he said.

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