UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division is making its largest push thus far into patient care in Minnesota with up to 19 new urgent care centers planned by the end of 2017. Operating under the brand name MedExpress, two of the urgent care centers are scheduled to open Friday in Eden Prairie and Plymouth. Final tallies and precise locations for the other clinics could change over the next 15 months, company officials said. But the current plan calls for 12 urgent care centers in the Twin Cities and another seven beyond the metro. The MedExpress growth plan looks like a substantial expansion for the state’s overall supply. Survey data from MN Community Measurement, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit group, indicates that 89 clinics in Minnesota this year are offering urgent care, which ranges from walk-in care to advanced services like minor surgery and treatment for broken bones. Optum is the health services division of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group. The company also operates UnitedHealthcare, which is the nation’s largest health insurer.

Currently, the company’s OptumCare unit includes more than 18,000 physicians who either are employed or work with Optum on a contractual basis. Currently, about 7,100 urgent care centers operate in the U.S., according to the Urgent Care Association of America, a trade group based in suburban Chicago. By the end of next year, MedExpress wants to grow from its current base of 177 urgent care centers across the country to a figure that’s “north of 250” centers. Centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Appointments aren’t necessary. Beyond urgent care, MedExpress offers basic wellness services such as physicals and immunizations. It also offers employer health services such as pre-employment screenings and physicals.

This was reported by Star Tribune on September 13, 2016.

Contact Information: Tyler Mason, Media Contact, Corporate Communications, UnitedHealth Group, Post Office Box 1459, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440-1459; 424-333-6122; Email: tyler.mason@uhg.com; Website: http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com

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