Anthem to acquire palliative care provider Aspire Health: 4 things to know

Insurance giant Anthem plans to acquire Aspire Health, a palliative care provider based in Nashville, Tenn.

Here are four things to know.

1. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed; however, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

2. Aspire, the nation's largest non-hospice, community-based palliative care provider, operates in 25 states and contracts with over 20 health plans. The company was founded by former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, MD, and Brad Smith, who is now CEO of Aspire.

3. "Aspire Health shares our perspective on the increasingly important role of integrated care and has built a unique model that provides palliative care and support services for patients and their families," said Anthem President and CEO Gail Boudreaux.

4. The transaction shows that Anthem is joining its rivals, who already have made moves into the medical care business. Humana recently agreed to purchase hospice operator Curo Health and acute care provider Kindred Health. In addition, United Health Group's physician arm, OptumCare, employs or is affiliated with about 30,000 physicians.

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