Everyone knows how confusing it can be to navigate the healthcare system. But sometimes, simply knowing the name of your medical group can be tricky.

This week, Hudson Valley patients at CareMount Medical Group received a confusing email announcing that the company is now a part of Optum. Now, I went to college, scored pretty high on my SATs, but still had a tough time understanding what this was all about.

The email gleefully announces that "CareMount Medical has joined the Optum family." It goes on to explain that "Optum is a national health services innovation company" and that the new partnership will do more to "fulfill our mission to provide you with state-of-the-art care, close to home."

Wow, that sounds great. How exactly will merging (or partnering, or joining, or whatever just happened) do more to help patients? Further down, the email specifically contains a bold headline stating, "Why CareMount's partnership with Optum will help us serve you better." Excellent, that's just the question I had.  Lay it on me.

All of us at CareMount pulled together in every department and on every campus to help our patients meet the enormous challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Coordinating care and mobilizing a full range of resources have been key to ensuring the best results for our patients.  Joining with Optum has added even more scale and strength to ensure the greatest benefit for you.

Huh? And that benefit is what, now?

Confused, I scrolled down to find out more about this exciting announcement. There didn't seem to be much except that the new Optum logo will now appear on bills and paperwork. Caremount (or Optum) promises that the change won't affect who your healthcare provider is, office locations or the acceptance of patients' current health insurance plans or copays.

Mount Kisco Medical Group changed its name to CareMount in 2016 and aside from getting bills from a different company, not much changed then, so it seems likely that this is the case now, however it wasn't even clear if CareMount is really changing its name.

The email shows a huge Optum logo, with smaller logos for CareMount, ProHEALTH and Riverside Medical Group below it. At this point, it's unclear if those names will remain or if the group will eventually just be renamed to Optum. Either way, I'm sure they'll be sure to make sure you know who to make the check out to.

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