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UnitedHealth explores acquisition of Tenet's Conifer business

Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group is one of the companies exploring an acquisition of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare's healthcare management subsidiary Conifer Health Solutions, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

In 2017, Tenet enlisted financial and legal advisers to explore the potential sale of Conifer, which provides medical billing and care management services to hospitals and physician practices. Tenet said it would decide whether to sell Conifer in the first half of this year.

Tenet may ultimately decide not to sell Conifer, which accounted for about 8 percent of Tenet's revenue in 2017. If it enters into a deal, analysts have estimated Tenet could value Conifer at $2 billion or more, according to WSJ.

Should Tenet strike an agreement with UnitedHealth, Conifer could bolster UnitedHealth's Optum division, which serves as a consultant and contractor to healthcare providers. However, hospitals and other healthcare organizations may be hesitant to work with Conifer if it becomes part of Optum, which includes clinics and surgery centers that compete with hospital operators in many markets, according to WSJ.

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:

Tenet to exit Chicago market as Sanford looks to enter
Cleveland Clinic makes foray into China
Beth Israel, Lahey merger faces pushback from attorney general

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