Optum, CVS Health aren't playing around

Eleven days into 2023 and already two of the biggest disruptors have made serious moves to deepen their reach into the healthcare space.

Optum has inked two partnerships with health systems since the beginning of the year to add nearly 2,000 revenue cycle management and IT employees to their ranks. Optum partnered with Northern Light Health in Brewer, Maine, and Owensboro (Ky.) Health to take over administrative functions so the systems could focus on patient care. Around 1,400 Northern Light Health employees and 575 Owensboro Health employees are transitioning to Optum.

CVS Health Ventures has also been busy investing in digital health companies. In January, CVS Health Venture invested $100 million in Carbon Health, a hybrid healthcare company focused on primary and urgent care, and CVS Health led a $25 million financing round for virtual therapy and psychiatry company Array Behavioral Health. CVS is also exploring opportunities to acquire Oak Street Health, which runs primary care centers for Medicare beneficiaries and is valued at around $10 billion.

Last year, CVS Health signed a definitive agreement to acquire home health company Signify Health for around $8 billion and has been looking for further footing in the primary care space. The company was reportedly interested in One Medical and Cano Health, but both deals fell through.

Optum already has a robust primary care network and its venture capital arm, Optum Ventures, led a $330 million funding round for home health company DispatchHealth in November. Optum also acquired home healthcare business LHC Group for $5.4 billion in March, with 964 locations in 37 states.

Finally, Optum closed its $7.8 billion merger with Change Healthcare last year, providing significant data capabilities for even more sophisticated growth.


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