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UnitedHealth's (UNH) Sub-unit to Offer Cancer Care in Texas

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UnitedHealth Group Incorporated’s (UNH - Free Report) business Optum’s unit USMD recently announced the opening of three cancer care and infusion centers across Texas’ Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex. Further, two similar centers are slated to start operating in the state during June 2021.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group gained 0.7% on May 21.

The newly established centers offer advanced and cost-effective cancer care throughout a patient’s journey. The process stretches from cancer diagnosis to providing necessary treatment in the form of precision medicine and integrated care to patients. In fact, precision medicine intensifies focus on the diversified molecular build-up of tumors. This, in turn, facilitates the in-depth understanding of a patient’s condition by a team of highly experienced healthcare specialists.

Notably, these specialists in the form of oncologists and hematologists are equipped to offer treatment for several types of cancers like breast, lung, colorectal, to name some. Blood disorders beyond leukemia and anemia will also be treated by the abovementioned specialists.

This is likely to address the healthcare and social needs of patients diagnosed with cancer. This, in turn, will ensure that the patients not only recover rapidly but also with lesser side effects.

With two similar centers lined up to open in USMD’s pipeline, the recent move seems to be time opportune. Cancer has been a leading cause of fatality globally. Hence, the expense for treatment of cancer has also remained high. Per American Cancer Society, people of Texas are more susceptible to risks stemming from cancer than the rest of the United States. The reason is primarily obesity and other health conditions of people in the state.

A possible hindrance toward obtaining necessary cancer care these days has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite vaccination programs being undertaken on a massive scale across the United States, health woes are far from over across the nation. To cope with the pandemic, most healthcare systems are diverting their resources toward providing COVID-19 care. This scenario has resulted in scarcity of resources and limited access to non-COVID-19 care.

Again, American Cancer Society estimates over 133,000 new cancer cases being diagnosed across Texas in 2021. The scenario looks grimmer with the institution’s fatality projection of over 42,000 across the state in the same year. This clearly highlights the heightened need for offering enhanced cancer treatment, failure of which may lead to rise in mortality rate.

With the three new cancer care and infusion centers, Optum’s unit USMD intends to bolster its capabilities and stretch its nationwide footprint. As a result, performance of the pharmacy benefit manager and care services group of UnitedHealth Group named Optum is likely to witness an uptick.

Followed by sound performance of the subsidiary, revenues of UnitedHealth Group have been growing consistently since 2010. Notably, sound performance of Optum coupled with UnitedHealthcare have contributed to UnitedHealth Group’s revenue growth in first-quarter 2021.

Other healthcare providers offering cancer treatment to Americans include Centene Corporation (CNC - Free Report) , Anthem, Inc. (ANTM - Free Report) and Humana Inc. (HUM - Free Report) .

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) healthcare provider have gained 42% over a year compared with the industry’s rally of 36.1%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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