Care Deferral Dings OptumRx 2Q Earnings, Big RFP Wins

Although the steep decline in health care utilization tied to COVID-19 lockdowns proved to be an overall boon for UnitedHealth Group during the second quarter of 2020, that was not the case for the company’s PBM subsidiary.

OptumRx’s earnings declined 6% year over year in the second quarter as prescription volume dropped due to “lower care activity,” UnitedHealth Chief Financial Officer John Rex said during a July 15 earnings call. “Unsurprisingly, given the sharp drop in primary care and specialist visits, first fills of prescriptions declined by about one-third early in the second quarter,” he said, but added that first fills “began to recover as the quarter progressed and have continued to do so as care activity increases.”

© 2021 MMIT

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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