UnitedHealth quietly scoops up New York physician group Crystal Run

UnitedHealth Group has quietly added yet another provider group to its growing Optum Health subsidiary.

Earlier this year, UHG acquired Crystal Run Healthcare, a New York-based physician group with about 400 doctors. There was no fanfare around the acquisition until media reports resurfaced it this week.

Local newspaper Mid-Hudson News obtained an internal email in late February, where Crystal Run leaders informed employees that they were a part of Optum as of Feb. 22. In the message, CEO Hal Teitelbaum, M.D., said the deal would advance the provider group's value-based care capabilities.

"Crystal Run has long recognized that the fee-for-service reimbursement model is broken, and we committed to transition to value-based care focused on the quadruple aim," Teitelbaum wrote, according to the newspaper.

Stat brought the story to a national audience Monday. An Optum spokesperson confirmed the news in a statement to Fierce Healthcare.

“Optum and Crystal Run share a strong commitment to providing patients with high-quality, local care with a focus on value and innovation. We are excited to be coming together to expand upon the exceptional health care services Crystal Run provides to communities in the Hudson Valley and lower Catskill region," the spokesperson said. "Crystal Run will continue to serve its patients covered by multiple payers and across all lines of commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid coverage. Working together, our aim is to deliver a better experience for patients and increase access to high-quality health care options.”

Optum Health has been a key growth area for the healthcare giant, and it has scooped up multiple provider organizations to continue building out its reach. Optum Health employs more than 70,000 docs and is one of the country's largest employers of physicians.

Other recent acquisition targets include Houston-based Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Refresh Mental Health and Atrius Health.