Monday, 18 December, 2017

DaVita is selling underperforming managed-care unit for $4.9 billion

DaVita United Health Group Walt Disney Home Depot- PRE-MARKET The healthcare sector was in focus before the bell
Laurie Berry | 06 December, 2017, 19:25

DaVita Medical Group includes around 280 clinics offering primary and specialist care, as well as 35 urgent-care centers and six outpatient surgery centers.

Kidney-care provider DaVita had previously said that it was "pursuing strategic alternatives" for its physician operation, which has had bumpy financial results and recently surprised investors by driving down earnings for DaVita, which recorded a net loss in the third quarter.

And, the deal is expected to close in 2018, but is subject to regulatory approvals.

Health insurers have been pushing deeper into managing or providing patient care in order to cut costs and improve health, especially for those with chronic conditions.

The announcement of the acquisition of a dialysis-center chain by a major insurer comes just days after drugstore chain CVS Health announced intentions to acquire a different major insurer, Aetna, for $69 billion plus assumption of debt. Also, they are part of the Fortune 500 DaVita Inc headquartered in Denver, will give Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group more access to patients across the country.

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The deal will be financed with cash and would combine UnitedHealth's Optum unit with DaVita's 300 clinic network that serves about 1.7 people annually.

The acquisition of DaVita would expand that reach considerably. "The combination of DaVita Medical Group and Optum should lead to even higher levels of performance".

Shares in DaVita rose 9 percent, a $193 million gain for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who owns a 20 percent stake in the dialysis and medical group company. The company already operates medical practices in Southern California and elsewhere, and it owns almost 250 MedExpress urgent-care clinics.

Kent Thiry, DaVita chairman and CEO said "I am so proud of the DaVita Medical Group accomplishments, including our excellent clinical outcomes".

This is a developing story.

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