The largest health system in Dayton and a national provider of insurance have renewed their relationship. A unit of UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare, and Premier Health have inked a multi-year agreement with a view to ensuring that residents of southwest Ohio who are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage and commercial health plans of UnitedHealthcare get in-network access to the facilities and physicians of PremierHealth. The agreement came into effect earlier in the week.
With the renewed relationship close to 200,000 people who are enrolled on a UnitedHealthcare plan will obtain access to Premier’s Physician Network besides the sites of service and hospitals belonging to Premier Health in the whole of Dayton. Some of the hospitals belonging to Premier Health include Miami Valley Hospital South, Upper Valley Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Atrium Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital.
“We are very happy to have found common ground and a way that Premier Health and UnitedHealthcare can work collaboratively to extend quality, patient-centered care in our communities. We look forward to working with UnitedHealthcare…” Mary Boosalis, the president and chief executive officer of Premier Health, said.
With 2016 revenues exceeding $1.7 billion Premier is Dayton region’s seventh-largest company. Premier’s hospital network has also emerged as one of the biggest employers in the region as it has a workforce of close to 14,000 people.
The renewal of the relationship between UnitedHealth and Premier Health comes less than a month since the former indicated it would be launching a tender for Chile’s Empresas Banmedica with a view to eventually acquiring the South American firm. This would give UnitedHealth an opportunity to expand in Latin America as Empresas Banmedica has a presence not just in Chile but also in Peru and Colombia.
Currently UnitedHealth has operations in Brazil where it has been present since 2012 when it acquired Amil Participacoes SA, an operator of clinics and hospitals. With the regulatory uncertainty in the healthcare sector in the United States UnitedHealth has embarked on a geographical diversification strategy to ensure long-term growth.
There has also been profit-margin pressure in the United States and this has made it necessary for the country’s health insurers to seek foreign markets for purposes of continued profitability and growth. Foreign markets, especially those in emerging economies, tend to have lower competition and there are less penetrated. For health insurers in the United States Europe and Asia offer the best short-term opportunities.