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Optum Is a Major Differentiator for UnitedHealth Group

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Apr. 9 2019, Published 2:29 p.m. ET

Optum’s revenue and earnings trends

In fiscal 2018, UnitedHealth Group’s (UNH) health services business, Optum, reported revenues of $101.3 billion, a YoY rise of 11.07%. Optum reported earnings from operations of $8.2 billion, a YoY rise of 22.39% and ahead of analysts’ expectations. UnitedHealth Group is focused on leveraging the strengths of OptumRx, OptumInsight, and OptumHealth to improve patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs, thereby improving its profitability.

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Growth drivers

In fiscal 2018, UnitedHealth Group’s OptumInsight business, which is focused on offering data analytics and advisory services, reported revenues of $9.0 billion, a YoY rise of 11.4%.

According to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, UnitedHealth Group deploys its data analytics capability to determine optimal actions and treatment options, which subsequently leads to improved patient outcomes at lower costs. The company plans to further use insights-driven from data analytics for improved engagement with both physicians and patients. According to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, UnitedHealth Group is also developing platforms that can provide data such as health records and genomic data, to providers, to aid them in patient management decisions.

In fiscal 2018, UnitedHealth Group’s OptumHealth business reported revenues of $24.1 billion, a YoY rise of 17.4%. According to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, UnitedHealth Group has leveraged the strength of its OptumHealth business to create a care delivery network where the majority of providers base their clinical decisions on evidence-based guidelines. The company currently has almost 99% of its OptumCare members in Medicare plans with ratings of four stars or even higher. These efforts have translated into 30% lower costs for the company’s Medicare plans as compared to original Medicare plans.

In fiscal 2018, UnitedHealth Group’s pharmacy care business, OptumRx, reported revenues of $69.5 billion, a YoY rise of 9.1%.

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