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UnitedHealth diving deeper into direct care

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UnitedHealth Group, America’s largest private-sector health insurer, plans to  buy a large physician group to add to its existing total of 30,000 doctors. Thus it is diving deeper into direct health delivery.

UnitedHealth’s Optum unit will buy the physician group from DaVita, a large for-profit chain of dialysis centers, for about $4.9 billion in cash, subject to regulatory approval. Most important in this story is that DaVita runs nearly 300 clinics in a half-dozen states, including California and Florida.

“Combining DaVita Medical Group and Optum advances our shared goal of supporting physicians in delivering exceptional patient care in innovative and efficient ways,” said Larry C. Renfro, Optum’s chief executive. Of course, the central purpose of the move is to get more revenue and profit!

Analysts  said the move was part of UnitedHealth efforts to get more into ambulatory care as hospital populations shrink even in the face of such countervailing forces as the aging of the U.S. population.

“The asset is strongly synergistic” with UnitedHealth’s overall ‘mission and strategy,’ Ana Gupte, an analyst for Leerink, told investors. Indeed.




To read The New York Times report on this, please hit this link.

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