According to Michael Meyers, president and CEO of Manhasset, N.Y.-based medtech company Meyers & Gerard Medical, Optum's quick growth and acquisition of physician groups is a cause for concern.
Mr. Meyers recently joined Becker's to discuss the healthcare disruptors he is concerned about.
Question: What healthcare disruptor is concerning you right now?
Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for length and clarity.
Michael Meyers: Optum, the large pharmaceutical distributor/pharmacy management company, also manages over 70,000 physicians in a variety of practice venues. They have other subsidiaries that are cloaked in other names that manage various specialties, i.e. Sound Anesthesia Services is owned by Optum, at least partially, which is of course owned by UnitedHealth Group.
Does it not strike you as a problem that [UnitedHealth Group, which also owns UnitedHealthcare] that insures so many of the patients also owns the doctor groups? Seems a bit counterintuitive to the checks and balances of good healthcare. This is the type of thing that bankrupted Envision, and it is only a matter of time before other physician management groups file as well. That way you can create a socialized medical system run by UnitedHealthcare as a governmental surrogate. ... I'm sure they will be buying hospitals as well quite soon, those that are not bankrupt first.