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UnitedHealth (UNH) Unit to Offer Better Pharmacy Care in Arizona

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Genoa Healthcare, which is part of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated’s (UNH - Free Report) information and technology-enabled health services business Optum, recently inaugurated its 600th pharmacy in collaboration with Southwest Network. The latest move marks the fourth such pharmacy with Southwest Network, which remains the leading behavioral health services provider across Arizona.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group gained 0.5% on Sep 29.

Genoa Healthcare generally partners with community mental health clinics and offers pharmacy services across the same facility. The newest pharmacy of Genoa, located at the San Tan clinic of Southwest Network, intends to provide specialized pharmacy care to around 1,500 adults availing treatment at the clinic. It aims to do the same in the form of utilizing pre-filled pill organizers, conducting proactive outreach calls and executing prior authorizations.

Consequently, individuals will find it easier to obtain required medications, which is expected to result in enhanced medical adherence and better health outcomes. Along with ensuring speedy recovery, timely consumption of medicines can lead to reduced need for emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

The innovative and integrated approach of extending pharmacy care followed by Genoa is of utmost importance as it tends to address serious concerns stemming from nonadherence to prescribed medications. This has been an alarming concern to clinicians and healthcare systems, who have substantial evidence to suggest that nonconsumption of prescribed medications leads to adverse health issues and in turn escalating healthcare costs.

The leading U.S. pharmacy chain Genoa, which is now part of the Optum unit, was purchased by UnitedHealth Group in 2018 in order to effectively cater to the pharmacy needs and offer medication management for patients suffering from behavioral health and substance use disorders.

Optum keeps on undertaking a plethora of initiatives to offer patient-focused and diversified healthcare services across several U.S. communities it serves. These initiatives range from launching Optum Mobile Clinic this June to collaborating with Bassett Healthcare Network in May to provide enhanced and cost-effective healthcare services to Central New York patients. In the same month again, Optum announced the opening of three cancer care and infusion centers to offer cost-effective cancer treatment across Texas.

Initiatives similar to the latest one is expected to boost revenues from the Optum unit of UnitedHealth Group, which improved 14% year over year in the first half of 2021. Solid growth of the Optum business was one of the key catalysts behind 11.8% year-over-year revenue growth at UnitedHealth Group in the first half of 2021.

The latest move seems to be a time opportune one as well since mental health issues have been troubling Americans for quite some time. The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the dismal scenario further with significant rise in the count of individuals grappling with behavioral health issues. This has resulted in higher demand for enhanced behavioral health services. Per Fortune Business Insights, the behavioral health market of the United States is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 3.6% over the 2021-2028 period.

Zacks Rank & Price Performance

Shares of UnitedHealth Group, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), have gained 27.9% over a year compared with the industry’s rally of 24.6%.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks in the medical space include The Joint Corp. (JYNT - Free Report) , Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC - Free Report) and HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Joint Corp., Acadia Healthcare and HCA Healthcare have a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 235.00%, 26.14% and 11.65%, on average, respectively.