UnitedHealth Floats $3B Deal to Buy Home Health Company
Optum’s headquarters building in Eden Prairie Courtesy of UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Floats $3B Deal to Buy Home Health Company

The insurer says its deal to acquire Louisiana-based Amedisys is a "superior proposal" to an earlier offer.
Optum’s headquarters building in Eden Prairie Courtesy of UnitedHealth Group

Louisiana-based home health care company Amedisys lined up a merger deal last month, but Minnetonka-based insurer UnitedHealth Group now says it has a better offer.

On Monday, UnitedHealth Group announced that it has extended an unsolicited cash offer to buy Amedisys for over $3 billion. The offer comes after Illinois-based Option Care Health Inc. extended a merger deal to Amedisys in May.

Now, UnitedHealth’s health services arm Optum is extending a $100 per share cash offer, which company execs said is 26% over Amedisys’ most recent closing share price. This would amount to around $3.26 billion in total.

On May 3, Amedisys first entered into a merger agreement with Option Care Health, which is a provider of post-acute care and infusion services. At the time, Option Care Health planned to buy Amedisys for $3.6 billion, Fierce Healthcare reported.

After reviewing the offer, Amedisys entered into a confidentiality agreement with Optum on May 30, according to a Monday release by Baton Rouge-based Amedisys.

In the release, Amedisys execs said the deal presented by Optum “could reasonably be expected to result in a superior proposal.” But the release also noted that Amedisys “remains bound by the terms of the merger agreement with Option Care Health, and Amedisys’ board has not determined that Optum’s proposal constitutes a superior proposal as defined in the merger agreement.”

The release states Amedisys stockholders do not need to take any action at this time.

In a separate news release in response to Optum’s unsolicited offer, Option Care Health reiterated its belief that its merger agreement with Amedisys would deliver “significant value to Amedisys and Option Care Health stockholders, a high degree of certainty in obtaining the required regulatory approvals due to the complementary nature of the parties’ businesses, and benefits patients, providers, payers, and care teams.”

This is UnitedHealth’s second attempt to buy a home health company within recent history. Last year, the company bought Louisiana-based in-home care provider LHC Group for $5.4 billion.

In the wake of Covid-19, insurers and health care providers alike have been eager to jump into the home health care industry. In fall, Allina Health launched a separate entity designed to help other health systems and health plans stand up their own home-based health programs.