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Optum and SSM Health, a Catholic, not-for-profit health system in the Midwest, are partnering across certain functions, including digital transformation, inpatient care and revenue cycle management.

Certain SSM Health revenue cycle staff and hospital care management will become employees of Optum. They will continue to work in their current locations across Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. 

WHY THIS MATTERS

As the technology-enabled health services arm of UnitedHealth Group, Optum has the capability, with SSM Health, to implement new technologies to innovate and streamline the billing experience for patients and providers.

This will accelerate SSM Health’s progress to market-leading patient satisfaction across all revenue cycle operations by advancing consumer engagement through the digital experience, the companies said.

The partnership will allow SSM and Optum to use clinical technologies, advanced analytic tools and the delivery of data-driven insights at the point of care to reduce care variation. 

They will co-develop an inpatient care delivery model that improves quality and patient outcomes, while reducing unnecessary costs, the organizations said.  

They will also address social and economic factors affecting health by jointly investing in community health programs to close the equity gap in the communities SSM Health serves in the Midwest.  

THE LARGER TREND

SSM Health includes 23 hospitals, more than 290 physician offices, 10 post-acute facilities and other outpatient and virtual care services in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

In May, Optum announced a similar partnership with Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, New York. 

Optum collaborated on clinical and operational performance, providing a range of services, including revenue cycle management, advanced data and analytic capabilities, and information technology. 

In 2019, John Muir Health and Optum announced a collaboration in which Optum would manage key nonclinical functions, including information technology, revenue cycle management, analytics, purchasing and claims processing. 

ON THE RECORD

Rick Hardy, chief executive officer, OptumInsight said, “We look forward to sharing our advanced technology and insights, while benefiting from SSM Health’s clinical expertise and experience in community health, patient engagement and integrated healthcare delivery.” 
 
“Creating a new ecosystem of care requires bringing together the best and the brightest to collaborate for the common good,” said Laura S. Kaiser, president and chief executive officer, SSM Health. 

“We are thrilled to partner with SSM Health to advance a next-generation holistic approach to health that empowers all people to lead their healthiest lives,” said Dan Schumacher, chief strategy and growth officer of UnitedHealth Group. “This new relationship further builds on Optum’s support of local care systems across the country to enhance affordable, patient-centric care that is easy to access, sustainable and high-quality.”  
 

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: [email protected]



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