Optum target Atrius lost money when patients transferred to Medicaid

Massachusetts ’largest medical group – currently squaring via a buyout deal with Optum – has drawn more in red in its latest financial presentations.

Atrius Health, based in Newton, Mass., An organization with up to 700 physicians in 30 practices, lost $ 17 million on operations over $ 514 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2021 ended March 31, 2015. March. It is even stronger than its operating loss of $ 12.1 million. over $ 2.2 billion in revenue throughout 2020. The UnitedHealth Group plans to buy Atrius through its subsidiary Optum, according to the Boston Globe.

Despite its size, Atrius is not immune to the persistent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The practice wrote in a note accompanying its financial statement that the crisis has lowered the number of patients with commercial insurance, decreasing their capital months. Atrius has also seen more of his patients switch to Medicaid, which has lowered his average enrollment rate.

Atrius ’Capri revenues – nearly 80% of its total revenues – fell 6.8% in the first quarter last year.

An Atrius spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Per capita payments were generally seen as a more stable source of income during the pandemic while patients ’volumes dried up and revenues from service fees cisterned. But the pandemic has also sparked job losses that have shifted patients from commercial policies to government-sponsored programs, which tend to pay less to providers.

Despite the operating loss, Atrius said the number, including long-term investments, remained steady until the first quarter, reaching $ 446.5 million as of March 2021. The number is 357.5 million at at the end of March 2020.

The pandemic also ate into Atrius ’service tariff volume, which was down 5.3% year-on-year. The company noted that Massachusetts ’public health emergency continued through the first quarter of 2021, resulting in a steady decline in demand for services and a higher spending on safety precautions. The company said its meetings with patients fell 7.6% year over year, which was slightly offset by a 2.5% increase in the average rate per appointment.

Atrius noted a high continued use of telecare services, with nearly 30% of office visits practiced virtually.

The company spent 6.5% less on salaries and allowances in the recently concluded fourth quarter due to a high turnover in its clinical front-office staff. Atrius said he also spent less on the doctor’s pay because of planned pensions and “losses from a more competitive market for primary care providers.”

Optum, which has not responded to a request for comment, has acquired groups of doctors at a rapid pace in recent years, and the pending Atrius deal will expand its reach in Massachusetts. Optum acquired Reliant Medical Group in Worcester, Mass. In 2018.

U The Boston Globe reported that Optum’s Atrius acquisition would need approval from the Massachusetts Commission for Health Policy, the Department of Public Health and the Federal Trade Commission.

Optum’s reason for buying Atrius is to increase its touch points with health plan subscribers, David Klink, senior equity analyst with Huntington Private Bank, wrote in an email. Another attractive quality of Atrius is its work in the home healthcare space, a huge focus for managed care companies in recent years. Hospitals cover a large portion of the total health care costs in the United States, so the extent to which managed care companies can encourage members to seek care outside of those facilities is a “huge victory,” Klink said.

“The bottom line is that (UnitedHealth) is buying Atrius for another set of eyes on its registered members, in the hope that care costs can be reduced,” he said.

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