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Surgical Care Affiliates, OptumCare to merge — 6 key points

Deerfield, Ill.-based Surgical Care Affiliates is merging with Optum, a health services company and part of UnitedHealth Group.

Here are six key points:

1. Through the partnership, SCA will become a part of Optum's platform, which serves millions of U.S. customers via 20,000 affiliated physicians and hundreds of facilities spanning the nation. SCA is combining with OptumCare, Optum's primary and urgent care delivery services business. OptumCare works with more than 80 health plans.

2. Andrew Hayek, SCA's chairman and CEO, and SCA executives will continue leading SCA and the Optum platform.

3. The companies expect the transaction to close in the first half of this year. Under the agreement, Optum will acquire SCA's outstanding common stock for $57 per share. UnitedHealth Group's common stock will fund between 51 percent and 80 percent of the acquisition and the remainder will be paid in cash. TPG affiliates, owning approximately 30 percent of SCA's common stock, will tender their shares as part of the offer.

4. The combination provides for a fascinating new look at how doctors, payers and surgery centers may relate to each other and the market in a changing healthcare world — a world that is likely to change a lot again in the next few years.  

5. The combination of the nation's largest payer and its largest pure play ASC company is an indication of how much the healthcare delivery system has moved from inpatient to outpatient. The combination builds on relationships that have evolved between UnitedHealth Group and SCA throughout the country and world.

6. The transaction and the scale of SCA is a tribute to the leadership of Mr. Hayek and the team and company and partnerships he has built at SCA. The transaction is approached by both companies from a terrific position of strength. The deal brings together two very smart companies.

"Joining with OptumCare will enable us to better support and empower independent physicians, helping them provide high-quality care for their patients while making healthcare more affordable. The combination of SCA and OptumCare is another step forward toward our vision of becoming the partner of choice for surgeons," said Mr. Hayek. "We already have a strong relationship with OptumCare, so we have seen firsthand that our cultures and strategies are aligned and complementary."

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