Analysis: UnitedHealth reflects 70% of successful business deals among US managed care providers

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UnitedHealth Group constitutes more than 70 percent of successful business deals pursued by U.S. managed care companies during the past five years, according to a column published in Bloomberg Gadfly.

Brooke Sutherland, a former mergers and acquisitions contributor for Bloomberg News, wrote the Minnetonka, Minn.-based health insurance giant spent at least $26 billion on business diversification deals within that time frame. Ms. Sutherland noted the majority of UnitedHealth's deals included businesses outside of its flagship managed care operations.

In its latest deal reported Tuesday, UnitedHealth's Optum service line will acquire Washington, D.C.-based The Advisory Board's healthcare arm for $1.3 billion. Optum, which is the payer's pharmacy benefit and healthcare services business, continues to grow UnitedHealth's revenue stream.

The columnist questioned why other major managed care organizations like Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna and Humana in Louisville, Ky., did not contend for the deal.

"While UnitedHealth has been diversifying, its peers have spent their deal-making energies on megamergers that were ultimately rejected by antitrust regulators," Ms. Sutherland wrote.

For the full column, click here.  

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