UnitedHealth Group is poised to grow its presence in the mental health sector if it closes a yet-to-be-confirmed deal for pharmacy operator Genoa Health. While not formally announced, a source familiar with the deal told Axios that a tentative agreement had been reached.
Genoa, a Washington-state based company, operates 400 pharmacies across the country – all of which deal with patients with behavioral or other complex, chronic health issues. Axios said that with Genoa under its belt, the Minnetonka-based Fortune 500 company UnitedHealth Group would control the specialty channel.
Axios didn’t offer a sale figure, but Bloomberg reported Tuesday that if Genoa sold, it could fetch a price of more than $2 billion. Bloomberg also noted Walgreens as a potential buyer.
The prospect of a UnitedHealth Group-Genoa deal follows an agreement reached late last year involving CVS buying Aetna for $69 billion, though the merger is still pending. Meanwhile, Amazon recently acquired prescription delivery startup PillPack Inc.
This “convergence of retail, pharmacy and health insurance,” as former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota CEO Michael Guyette put it to TCB in an interview this April, has become an emerging trend in the marketplace.
For localized healthcare entities, Guyette suggested this trend means a need to adjust to the changes to stay competitive, like by launching strategic partnerships.
Axios was told that after the sale to UnitedHealth Group, Genoa CEO John Figueroa would move on and Genoa chief commercial officer Mark Peterson would step in to run Genoa under UnitedHealth.
None of the parties involved in the potential deal, however, have yet commented.