Healthcare Business News

Optum acquires majority stake in Audax health-engagement startup

By Rachel Landen
Posted: February 21, 2014 - 12:30 pm ET

Optum, a business unit within insurer UnitedHealth Group, announced this week that it acquired a majority stake in digital startup Audax Health.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Audax will continue to operate as a freestanding company under the executive leadership of founder and CEO Grant Verstandig. Verstandig founded the Washington-based company in 2010 with $16.5 million in initial funding and has launched partnerships with health plans, distribution partners, employers, care providers and condition-management companies.

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Using the Audax digital platform, consumers are encouraged to better manage their health by engaging in games and online communities that provide incentives, including reduced insurance premiums, for adopting healthy habits like eating well and exercising.

“Optum and Audax share the common goals of improving health care and making the health system work better,” UnitedHealth Group CFO David Wichmann said in a release. “We believe the combination of our skills and experience serving people across virtually every healthcare channel can help us reach those goals faster.”

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

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