By TOM MURPHY
AP Health Writer
UnitedHealth beat first-quarter forecasts and hiked its 2023 guidance for the first time, pushed in part by more growth from its Optum care segment. The health care giant said Friday that revenue jumped 25% from its Optum segment, which provides care and manages prescription drug benefits. Operating earnings from that part of the business also grew 19% to $3.7 billion. The Optum business runs clinics, urgent care and surgery centers. UnitedHealth says it served 103 million people in the quarter. Health insurance is still UnitedHealth’s biggest revenue generator. The company collected nearly $73 billion in premiums in the first quarter.