UnitedHealth to integrate behavioral, home health into growing number of value-based care models

UnitedHealth Group is planning to integrate more behavioral and home health services into its care delivery strategy as the company continues to expand its value-based care offerings.

"We will serve these patients in clinic settings, in their homes, integrating behavioral care, supported by our data-driven clinical incidents and next best actions, and all coordinated to provide the right care when and where they need it," CEO Andrew Witty told investors during a fourth quarter earnings call Jan. 13. 

Mr. Witty said the company expects 4 million more people to participate in fully accountable, value-based care models provided by Optum Health in 2023, which is almost 1.8 million more than the previous year. He added that many of those individuals will be covered under a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan or through other payers that utilize Optum's services. 

The company has invested heavily in behavioral health in recent years, saying in late 2022 that its behavioral network has grown 25 percent since 2020, with 375,000 providers now in network.

Wyatt Decker, CEO of Optum Health, said during the Jan. 13 call that home health offers another large opportunity to provide value-based care to members moving forward because of its convenience and ability to provide better access. 

"You will see us both developing, if you will, the platform of home care increasingly in a comprehensive fashion, as well as integrating home care with our clinic-based care model," he said. "And our ability to embed behavioral healthcare services within our primary care and value-based care offerings has been differentiated and will continue to grow, as well as our utilization of virtual behavioral care solutions in both the home and clinic environments."


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