Optum, partner of Red Ventures on the consumer health platform

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Photo: Tempura/Getty Images

UnitedHealth Group’s provider arm, Optum Health, has partnered with Red Ventures in a new joint venture focused on consumer health, RVO Health, which includes physician ratings through Healthgrades, among other things.

Red Ventures is a portfolio of groups that includes Healthgrades, Healthline Media, Optum Perks and Optum Store, as well as virtual coaching programs. These will all be integrated into the RVO Health business.

According to a report by Moody’s Investors Service, RVO Health will combine 120 million UHG customers and over 50 million members with Red Ventures’ 95 million unique monthly visitors.

“The joint will accelerate (Red Ventures’) access to new products, services and solutions, as well as provide access to a large audience of first-party data, while UHG will strengthen its digital transformation and momentum through the technology platform and Red Venture’s digital marketing expertise,” Moody’s wrote.

Red Ventures received cash proceeds for the assets it contributed to the venture, although ownership and direction of RVO Health remains unclear at this point. UHG will consolidate RVO Health’s financial data in its future financial statements, according to Moody’s.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT

Optum’s latest decision is a continuation of the many agreements concluded in recent months, including numerous partnerships, acquisitions and mergers. For example, Optum plans to buy healthcare charity Atrius Health, a deal that was approved earlier this year by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office.

Atrius and Optum have agreed to increase the purchase price of Atrius’ charitable assets from $73 million to $236 million, which means additional funds for the Atrius Health Equity Foundation, according to the office of the AG.

Optum and Change Healthcare, meanwhile, are extending their merger agreement until the end of the year, ahead of their trial scheduled from August 1. The new merger deadline is December 31. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the merger, citing anticompetitive concerns. on the data.

It was announced this year that Optum intended to merge with the LHC Group, which provides home healthcare services to a population of mostly elderly patients with chronic illnesses and injuries. Optum positioned the move as helping to advance value-based care and said it would accelerate the combined companies’ ability to deliver integrated care, leading to better outcomes.

Even Optum UK, the UK arm of the company, is to acquire British health technology company EMIS for around $1.51 billion. According to information provided by the London Stock Exchange, Optum expects the deal will result in better services for the National Health Service (NHS), the state-run healthcare system serving residents of the UK.

THE GREAT TREND

UnitedHealth Group showed slight year-over-year improvement in the first quarter of this year posting a profit of $5 billion, compared to $4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2021, and Optum led this growth – which UHG attributed to accelerating the expansion of its value-based caregiving initiatives. Optum’s first-quarter revenue rose 18.9% to $43.3 billion, and operating profit rose 19.8% to $3.2 billion.

Optum Health’s revenue per consumer served increased 33% compared to the first quarter of 2021, driven by growth in the number of people served through value-based care devices. Optum Health now expects to serve 600,000 new patients under these arrangements in 2022, up from 500,000 originally planned.

Optum Insight’s backlog increased by $2 billion to $22.8 billion from a year ago, driven by growth in its expanding comprehensive managed services offerings for health. And OptumRx posted strong revenue growth of 11% in the first quarter, which UHG said was due to significant new health plan customers, as well as continued expansion of community behavior services, specialty pharmacy and e-commerce.

Twitter: @JELagasse
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