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Optum to acquire 715-physician group in Massachusetts

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UnitedHealth subsidiary Optum signed a definitive agreement to acquire Atrius Health, a 715-physician group based in Newton, Mass., according to The Boston Globe

Optum said March 2 the agreement was signed the evening of March 1 after UnitedHealth's board approved the transaction. Atrius' board also unanimously approved the deal. 

The deal will need approval from Massachusetts' Health Policy Commission, the Department of Public Health and the Federal Trade Commission.

If the deal is approved, it would expand Optum's presence in Massachusetts. The organization had previously acquired Worcester, Mass.-based Reliant Medical Group in April 2018. 

Optum reportedly had been interested in purchasing Atrius, which has 30 locations in Massachusetts, for a few years and submitted a bid for it in 2019 when the medical group was looking for a partner. In 2019, Atrius decided to remain independent. However, Atrius said it decided to reignite potential partnership talks again due to the pressures of the pandemic. 

"We looked at many alternatives and chose [Optum] because of cultural alignment, the benefit we could provide for patients, the stability it could provide for our practice, and the help we can provide to the commonwealth as it pertains to managing medical spend," Atrius President and CEO Steven Strongwater, MD, told the Boston Business Journal. 

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