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UnitedHealthcare leads healthcare's 25 most valuable brands

Insurers UHC, Anthem, Aetna, Humana and Cigna were among the top seven, which also included Optum and Medtronic.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Insurers rank among the most valuable healthcare brands in the world, according to a brand value analysis report released Wednesday by Brand Finance.

UnitedHealthcare tops the list of the 25 most valuable healthcare brands. Its value has risen an impressive 64 percent over last year, to $30.6 billion, said Brand Finance, an independent brand valuation consultancy located in London. In getting the number one ranking, UHC is defending its title, the report said. In 2017, UHC grew by 39 percent.

In second place is Anthem, which was up 34 percent to $13.6 billion, followed by Optum, Aetna and Humana.

While Cigna ranks seventh as most valuable, the insurer has the strongest brand, the report said, with a Brand Strength Index score of 74.6 out of 100. Brand strength measures the company's performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance looks at marketing, investment, stakeholder equity and the impact of these factors on business performance to determine the rankings.

The 10 strongest brands, in order, are Cigna, Illumina, Aetna, UHC, Humana, Medtronic, Anthem, Boston Scientific, BD and Stryker.

U.S. brands dominate the industry, the report said. Only one in the top 25 most valuable brands comes from Europe, medical supply company Fresenius in Germany.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Consolidations and business expansion have played an important role in the rankings.

"Consolidation within the industry is enabling brands to achieve greater scale and to improve competitiveness, particularly important given that non-traditional players, like Amazon, are perched to enter the market," the report said.

Anthem will be further strengthened when it starts its own pharmacy benefits manager, IngenioRx, the report said. The rollout is proceeding, Anthem reportedly said last month.

Other consolidations include Cigna acquiring Express Scripts in 2018 for $67 billion and CVS Health's acquisition of Aetna for $69 billion, a finalized deal whose terms are under review by a federal court.

UnitedHealthcare received the top ranking due to its financial standing,   enhanced by some high-profile activities, such as awarding Apple watches to successful wellness program participants, the report said. It has also broadened its offering by starting commercial group health insurance plans across the U.S. under numerous product names.

Optum, the technology services business which is also part of UnitedHealth Group, grew by 51 percent to $12.7 billion in 2019, moving from fifth place in the 2018 rankings to third this year.  It has increased its customer base and benefitted from winning the Alliant 2 government contract to assist federal agencies in integrating technology solutions, the report said.

THE TOP 25 BY VALUE

  • UnitedHealthcare, $30.6 billion, up 64.3 percent
  • Anthem, $13.5 billion, up 34.5 percent
  • Optum, $12.7 billion, up 51.1 percent
  • Aetna, $10.8 billion, up 15.6 percent
  • Humana, $10.3 billion, up 14.8 percent
  • Medtronic, $9.6 billion, up 22.3 percent
  • Cigna, $8.1 billion, up 17.5 percent
  • Fresenius, $7 billion, up 8.3 percent
  • HCA, $6.3 billion, neutral to last year
  • Centene, $4.7 billion, up 23.7 percent

For the following companies, no brand value was given

  • McKesson
  • Express Scripts
  • AmerisourceBergen
  • BD, Becton Dickinson
  • Cardinal Health
  • HealthNet
  • Stryker
  • Tenet Healthcare
  • DaVita Medical Group
  • Boston Scientific
  • Henry Schein
  • LabCorp
  • Baxter, which is new to the list this year
  • Illumina, also new to the list
  • Quest Diagnostics

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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