Desai Succeeds Decker as Optum Health CEO

July 25, 2023
After almost five years as Optum Health CEO, Wyatt Decker, M.D., M.B.A., has become UnitedHealth Group’s executive vice president and chief physician for value-based care

UnitedHealth Group has made a leadership change at care delivery subsidiary Optum Health. The organization’s CEO, Wyatt Decker, M.D., M.B.A., has become UnitedHealth Group’s executive vice president and chief physician for value-based care. Amar A. Desai, M.D., M.P.H., has returned to Optum Health as CEO after a stint at CVS Health.

During his nearly five-year tenure as Optum Health CEO, Decker played a vital role in building out and accelerating Optum Health’s value-based care delivery capabilities and growing it to more than 100,000 employed and contracted physicians, the company said. It now serves more than 100 million people, including nearly 4 million people in fully accountable, value-based arrangements. Under Decker’s leadership, Optum Health established national platforms for care delivery, home and community care, behavioral care, and chronic disease management solutions.

Prior to joining Optum, Decker served as CEO of Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

In his new role, he serves as the company’s lead ambassador working across the enterprise and externally with key stakeholders to further enable and advance accountable models of care, according to UnitedHealth.

Optum said that Desai is focused on accelerating a patient-centered, value-based care model to achieve quality outcomes and improved experiences for patients, while lowering the total cost of care and supporting the physician practice of medicine.

As president for Health Care Delivery at CVS Health, he was responsible for the company’s health services organization and care delivery strategy.

He first joined Optum in 2019 when he served as president, HealthCare Partners, a medical group and integrated delivery network serving over 700,000 patients. He later became president and CEO of Optum Pacific West, building and operating the largest multi-payer value-based care delivery organization on the West Coast.

Prior to joining Optum, Desai was chief executive officer, University of Southern California (USC) Care and a senior executive at DaVita, a dialysis care company. Earlier in his career, Desai served as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company.

In a post on LinkedIn, Desai said, “I am looking forward to working with our team who always put patients and caregivers at the center of everything we do, and focus on making each interaction and moment with our patients matter. When this is done every day across our enterprise, we have the opportunity to meaningfully impact how care is delivered and experienced in the U.S. – one patient, one family, one neighborhood at a time.”

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