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October 7, 2021

SSM Health and Optum Launch Innovative Collaboration to Make Quality Care More Accessible and Affordable

SSM Health and Optum logos

Relationship includes a joint investment by SSM Health and UnitedHealth Group in Community Programs to Advance Health Equity

ST. LOUIS, Mo., and EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (October 7, 2021) — SSM Health and Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), announced an innovative collaboration focused on making quality care more accessible and affordable for people across the Midwest. Together, the organizations will work to improve the overall well-being of individuals and communities – while addressing the complex social and economic factors affecting each person’s health.

SSM Health and Optum will partner across certain functions – including inpatient care management, digital transformation and revenue cycle management – to improve health outcomes and patients’ health care experiences. The organizations also will collaborate to redefine the consumer health care journey through the design and development of a seamless digital experience to simplify patient access to the care and services they need.

“Creating a new ecosystem of care requires bringing together the best and the brightest to collaborate for the common good,” said Laura S. Kaiser, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, SSM Health. “The commitment of UnitedHealth Group and Optum to improving health care experiences and outcomes for everyone aligns well with SSM Health’s Mission to ensure all people have access to high-quality, compassionate and affordable care. We are excited to partner with them to achieve our vision of transforming health care in America – and address the health equity gap for the most vulnerable in society.”

To help advance health equity, UnitedHealth Group and SSM Health will jointly invest in vital community health programs to ensure the disadvantaged and vulnerable have equal access to quality health care services. These efforts will focus on closing the health equity gap and critical health priorities in the communities SSM Health serves throughout the Midwest.

“We are thrilled to partner with SSM Health to advance a next-generation holistic approach to health that empowers all people to lead their healthiest lives,” said Dan Schumacher, chief strategy and growth officer of UnitedHealth Group. “This new relationship further builds on Optum’s support of local care systems across the country to enhance affordable, patient-centric care that is easy to access, sustainable and high-quality.”

To better serve the health care needs of people across the Midwestern communities SSM Health serves, SSM Health and Optum will:

  • Use clinical technologies, advanced analytic tools and delivery of data-driven insights at the point of care to reduce care variation and co-develop an inpatient care delivery model that improves quality and patient outcomes, while reducing unnecessary costs.
  • Implement new and best-in-class technologies to innovate and streamline the billing experience for patients and providers and accelerate SSM Health’s progress to market-leading patient satisfaction across all revenue cycle operations.
  • Advance consumer engagement by designing a seamless digital experience that spans the patient journey. This will simplify patient access to the care and services they need, improving their experiences and resulting in stronger provider-patient relationships, increased patient loyalty and lower costs.

“SSM Health is a leading health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest, and we are honored to partner with them in providing exceptional health care services,” said Rick Hardy, chief executive officer, OptumInsight. “We look forward to sharing our advanced technology and insights, while benefiting from SSM Health’s clinical expertise and experience in community health, patient engagement and integrated health care delivery.”

As a part of this new relationship, certain SSM Health team members across revenue cycle management and hospital care management will become employees of Optum. They will continue to support SSM Health and its Mission – working in their current locations across Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Both SSM Health and Optum are committed to ensuring a smooth transition and exceptional experience for patients, employees and providers.

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.

About Optum
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 190,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). For more information, visit

Optum Media Contact:
Gwen Holliday

About SSM Health
SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system. The organization’s nearly 40,000 employees and 11,000 providers are committed to providing exceptional health care services and revealing God’s healing presence to everyone they serve.

With care delivery sites in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, SSM Health includes 23 hospitals, more than 290 physician offices and other outpatient and virtual care services, 10 post-acute facilities, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a pharmacy benefit company, a health insurance company and an accountable care organization. It is one of the largest employers in every community it serves. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

SSM Health Media Contact:
Patrick Kampert