Healthcare and insurance provider UnitedHealth Group plans to break ground on a massive new data center in the Minneapolis area, estimated to cost in the range of $100 million to $150 million.

Construction on the data center, which will be the company’s second major facility in the region, is expected to begin in May and be completed by mid-2012, according to a report in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The new data center will be built in Chaska, located southwest of Minneapolis. A city-owned utility, Chaska Electric, will supply power to the facility. A UnitedHealth spokesman told the Tribune the new data center is needed to accommodate the company’s continued growth and to increase its data center capabilities.

The facility will be approximately 190,000 square feet in size.

UnitedHealth already operates a similar sized data center in the City of Elk River, a Minneapolis suburb located about 34 miles to the northwest of the city.

In 2009, UnitedHealth announced it was partnering with Cisco to build a national “telehealth network.” The Connected Care network would give patients access to physicians and specialists when in-person visits are not possible. The network is being built on an open network that will integrate electronic health records with other technologies.

UnitedHealth’s network includes some 590,000 physicians and care providers at more than 4,900 hospitals. Together, they serve some 70 million Americans.





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