UnitedHealth Group Continues to Leverage Home-Based Care to Drive Value-Based Strategy

Value-based care has long been a core focus for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and its Optum arm.

Recently, however, the health care giant has started to view value-based care as a sustainable business model that it can lean into to drive growth across its operations. And it’s home-based care that has helped UnitedHealth Group take its value-based care strategy to the next level.

“Although it’s a topic that has been talked about for probably 30 years as a theme, I would say, really, only within UnitedHealth Group and Optum are you seeing value-based care now on a scale and presence [that] allows it to operate truly as a business model,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty said Wednesday, speaking at an investor conference.


Specifically, home-based care – home health services, house calls and other ways of engaging with Medicare beneficiaries in the home – allows UnitedHealth Group and Optum to take a more preventative approach.

That, in turn, benefits the company as well as the health care system as a whole, according to Witty.

Optum has maintained a house calls program for years that’s available in all 50 states. As part of that program, it sends advanced practice clinicians into beneficiaries’ homes for comprehensive health assessment, with services also available virtually.


The house calls team conducts hundreds of thousands of in-home care visits annually, many of which take place in rural communities.

Increasingly, UnitedHealth Group and Optum have invested in home health services, too. The prime example of that is the $5.4 billion acquisition of LHC Group in 2023, with a separate multi-billion-dollar purchase of Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) pending.

Other wraparound services, including Optum’s behavioral health investments, add to the company’s ability to perform in a value-based care landscape by providing deeper clinical care, according to Witty.

“That’s a huge area for us, and you should continue to expect us to invest heavily in that going forward,” the CEO said, referring to the organization’s overall value-based care plan. “We believe that is, by far and away, the best way to deliver quality of care, affordable care [and] value. We still think it’s in the early innings as a business model.”

Heather Cianfrocco, the CEO of Optum, echoed those sentiments. Cianfrocco took over as CEO of Optum in April 2024, and she is now responsible for the strategic direction and overall performance of its three business segments: Optum Health, Optum Rx and Optum Insight.

Wraparound services, population health, behavioral health and home-based care are all keys to a sustainable value-based care strategy, Cianfrocco noted.

“It’s strong referrals to the right side of service, including surgery and specialty. It’s the wraparound services, like the population health and behavioral health services, that many of our patients need,” Cianfrocco said. “And it’s the home-based care that we’ve invested in, whether it’s home health services through many of the investments we’ve made, [or] it’s transitional and longitudinal care, or it’s just the really important preventive services and annual home checks that we’ve done for years that make sure our seniors have what they need at home … .”

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