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UnitedHealth Subsidiary To Buy Surgical Care Provider For $2.3B

The health insurance giant’s fast-growing Optum division plans to merge Surgical Care Affiliates with its own urgent care delivery services unit, OptumCare.

Optum, a subsidiary of Minnetonka-based insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, announced a $2.3 billion acquisition of Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA), one of the country’s largest outpatient surgery providers with 205 surgical facilities and 3,000 physicians under its wing.
 
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2017 and expand Optum’s coverage by approximately 1 million patients across 30 states that utilize SCA each year.
 
Assuming the acquisition passes all regulatory hurdles, Deerfield, Illinois-based SCA will roll into Optum’s own primary and urgent care delivery services business, OptumCare. Currently, OptumCare’s coverage includes more than 17,000 physicians and specialists across 47 hospitals in eight states.
 
Both businesses specialize in coordinating care and payment plans between health care providers, health plan providers and patients.
 
Optum recently became the nation’s largest urgent care services provider after purchasing MedExpress in April 2015 for a reported $1.5 billion. (MedExpress ran 141 urgent care clinics in 11 states.)
 
“Combining SCA and OptumCare will enable us to continue the transition to high-quality, high-value ambulatory surgical care,” Optum CEO Larry C. Renfro said in a statement.
 
Optum is a fast-growing business segment for UnitedHealth, due in part to its growth through acquisition over the years. During the 2015 fiscal year, Optum made up about 43 percent of UnitedHealth’s total revenue.
 
Optum will purchase SCA for $57 per share and fund the deal primarily using UnitedHealth Group stock. SCA is expected to receive an amount between 51 percent and 80 percent of the acquisition cost in UnitedHealth Group stock. (UnitedHealth will have the option to decide the percentage at a later date.) The remaining amount will be paid for in cash.
 
UnitedHealth is anticipating the transaction to be neutral to its outlook for adjusted net earnings per share in 2017 and “modestly accretive” in 2018.