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UnitedHealth Group Buys 2,300-Physician Practice in California

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UnitedHealth Group will acquire 2,300 physicians through its purchase of Monarch Healthcare, the largest medical group in California's Orange County, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

UnitedHealth's business platform Optum will take control of Monarch's management. Optum, which is separate from UnitedHealth's insurance operation, also controls the management of two other California physician groups: AppleCare Medical Group and Memorial HealthCare Independent Practice Association.

UnitedHealth has previously indicated that providers acquired by Optum will not work exclusively with United's health plans. In what may turn out to be a complexity in the deal, Monarch is currently in an arrangement with UnitedHealth's competitor, WellPoint, to create a cooperative accountable care organization.

Related Articles on UnitedHealth Group:

The Quiet Takeover: Insurers Buying Physicians and Hospitals
UnitedHealth: Rural Areas Face Decreasing Access to Healthcare
1st Quarter 2011 Results Promising for Leading Health Plans


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