SSM Health and Optum launch new collaboration to make quality care more accessible and affordable

Oct. 8, 2021

SSM Health and Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, have announced a collaboration focused on making quality care more accessible and affordable for people across the Midwest, according to their press announcement. 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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.

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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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.

SSM Health release