Optum-owned group loses 32 physicians in 2 years 

A total of 32 physicians have left Optum-owned Oregon Medical Group in Eugene in the last two years, The Oregonian reported March 28.

Oregon Medical Group has been informing patients via letter that they can no longer treat them because it does not have enough physicians to offer a replacement, according to the report. UnitedHealth Group's Optum, the country's largest employer of physicians, acquired the previously physician-owned group in 2020. 

"As is the case across the healthcare industry, when a physician departs, we notify impacted patients and do our best to transfer their care to other providers," Optum said in a statement shared with the publication. "The health and well-being of our patients is our top priority, and we are working with patients to ensure they have access to high-quality care."

Optum has been facing scrutiny for its quick and aggressive growth — the company added nearly 20,000 physicians in 2023. Optum also is facing an antitrust investigation by the Justice Department, which is questioning UnitedHealth about the relationship between Optum and UnitedHealthcare and the effect physician group acquisitions have on local communities.

Optum's recent acquisitions have also faced backlash. Hundreds of people, including physicians, patients and politicians, urged the Oregon health department to block Optum's emergency acquisition of the physician-owned Corvallis (Ore.) Clinic, which was approved March 13. 

"Optum, a UnitedHealth Group subsidiary, is already the largest employer of physicians in the country — controlling over 10 percent of American doctors — which means this deal raises significant antitrust concerns in Massachusetts and nationally," Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a March 26 statement about the group's recent acquisition of financially troubled Steward Health Care's physician group.  

Becker's has reached out to Optum and will update this story if more information becomes available. 

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