UnitedHealth Group in the headlines: 15 updates

From its Optum arm acquiring 10 Minnesota behavioral health clinics to shuffling its top legal lineup, here are 15 updates on UnitedHealth Group Becker's has reported since May 14: 

1. UnitedHealth Group's Optum acquired Plymouth, Minn.-based CARE Counseling. CARE Counseling has 10 locations in the Minneapolis area, and employs over 200 clinicians.

2. Trinity Health of New England, part of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, is not budging in its negotiations with UnitedHealthcare over a new contract to replace the current deal that expires at midnight on June 30.

3. UnitedHealth Group said a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging an AI algorithm wrongfully denied Medicare Advantage patients care should be dismissed because "plaintiffs have failed to exhaust the exclusive administrative appeal process set by the Medicare Act for challenging coverage determinations."

4. Multiple hospital groups are urging HHS to hold UnitedHealth's subsidiary Change Healthcare accountable for providing breach notifications regarding its February cyberattack. 

5. Optum Rx, UnitedHealth Group's pharmacy benefits management company, unveiled a new pricing model — following an industrywide trend of increasing transparency on medication costs. 

6. UnitedHealthcare is looking to lease 87,000-square-feet of office space in suburban Green Bay, Wis. following the company's move to a more hybrid work schedule. 

7. Optum is closing a Change Healthcare facility in Toledo, Ohio, resulting in the termination of 129 employees located in Ohio or working remotely.

8. Dallas-based Steward Health Care, which shared plans to sell its physician group, Stewardship Health, to Optum in late March, revealed in May 15 filed documents that it has "executed a letter of intent" and is in "advanced discussions" with UnitedHealth affiliate Collaborative Care Holdings to be a stalking horse purchaser for the physician group. 

9. UnitedHealth Group is facing a proposed securities fraud class-action lawsuit alleging that the company failed to disclose that the Justice Department opened an antitrust investigation into the company. 

10. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, R-La., ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter May 14 to UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty demanding answers on the scope of the Change data breach and why the company didn't implement cybersecurity measures that could have prevented the hack. The senator asked for responses to 20 specific questions by May 28.

11. UnitedHealth Group is shuffling its top executive legal lineup. 

12. UnitedHealth Group executives said they're not planning any major shakeups to their Medicare Advantage business as other insurers plan to pull back their offerings in 2025. 

13. An Oklahoma jury handed UnitedHealthcare a win in its ongoing legal battle with physician staffing company TeamHealth. 

14. UnitedHealth Group surpassed $1 billion in affordable housing investments since the company began prioritizing housing developments in 2011.

15. UnitedHealthcare will pay Minnesota $450,000 to settle allegations it violated mental health parity laws.

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