United Healthcare Now Entering the Urgent Care Clinic Business To Help Keep Patients Out of the ER, Two More Opening In Houston&
Posted Jan 20 2014 4:53pm
Well we have another new entity here for the Healthcare company with 15 pages of subsidiary listings at the SEC and this is branded and under the Optum subsidiary name. These two clinics are opening in Houston and the first Clinic was opened early in Overland Park, Kansas. Interesting choice with Overland Park and I say this as a company I worked for in another life, Yellow Freight has a big home office there and the former CEO of Yellow is a board member that sits on the board of Cerner. Lots of action going on in Kansas these day it appears. I remember about 4 years back that Cerner had incorporated the old “Ingenix” revenue accounting software into their systems they sell with clients who buy that integrated option so I guess licensing royalties may add on to their other Health IT interests and subsidiaries.
These are the first clinics and the company plans to grow more of them. This of course is an effort to keep more folks out of the ER rooms and keep costs down. It would appear that the clinics kind of compete with a lot of what hospitals are doing in this effort, although in southern California United shares many close ties with Memorial Healthcare in even owning and/or operating big physicians groups here as well as the relationships with the Foundation. You can read more details at the website page about the clinics and part of the process is that you will get a call every three days after your visit.
Here’s another page on what to expect , wellness of course and even cosmetic services. I did not catch what medical records system the are using if it is one of theirs or another system as with subsidiaries they own they have a few under their umbrella. They want to be the integrators and consultants for the big guys in the records business too and the link below has more an that. As a matter of fact I read somewhere that about 1/3 of the revenue for United is outside of direct insurance business and there’s a lot other business besides their Health IT entities that are there there too, like Evercare hospice for profit as one example. When I was in Arizona last year and had to find a hospice service though, I stayed with a non profit who was wonderful as with all I cover here with United and the Optum analytics they almost drown you with, I was truly afraid I’d be trying to spend some final moments with an organization that would be beating me over the head with stats the whole tile and being a disruption instead of what I needed and plus I’m not fond of adding to any data they might sell either.
As another item of interest in the same are the company has “NowClinics” for employees so they can go visit a doctor on their lunch hour. It costs the employees $45.00 a visit. This is tiered under Optum with the name of OptumHealth where they offer just about anything you might think of and appears to be geared towards employers providing coverage. Of course you would also guess there’s some data mining in here too as where is it not with selling what is called de-identified information and it seems like with any wellness program anywhere someone’s looking to sell that data.
I’m not sure but I’m guessing that the doctors hired wills see Medicare Advantage patients even though in some parts of the country their internal business algorithms are saying not and dismissing doctors. The Texas Medical Association along with a couple others just signed on to that class action lawsuit, so it is kind of interesting that these clinics are in Texas I guess.
The inner workings of such big conglomerates have to be so complex how they manage all of it..I do anyway as you see this and money going into the clinics and yet they have issues like this with the AAFP with complex contracts uncovering that doctors are getting paid less than Medicare. The Supreme court though helped out a lot with that this year with contracts as United took a case over a number of years all the way up and they lost as they can now no longer have the provisions in a contract to where it’s always one doctor against the corporation.
So here you go more urgent care clinics…and your bottom line dollars spent end up in the big corporate conglomeration. I just like to tell folks where their money spent ends up and who benefits with healthcare today. Will these be opening up across the streets from hospitals maybe? Who knows but probably not too close to Dignity hospitals though as they are busy with their new company created, called Optum 360 there getting revenue cycling employees on board on and on premise at the hospitals and that could be too close for comfort possibly as that’s an effort to make money over there with billing efficiencies so the hospitals don’t end up short. BD
Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company, plans to open two of its first Optum Clinic Urgent Care facilities nationwide in the Houston area.
The clinics will be in the Copperfield and Tanglewood communities and are expected to open later this month and in February, respectively, according to the company’s website .
The Copperfield location will be at 7077 Highway 6 North, and the Tanglewood location will be at 5749 San Felipe St. Once open, both locations will have hours of 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.