Centene to buy Florida primary care provider
- Centene said Monday it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Community Medical Group, a primary care provider in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
- CMG has 13 medical centers and two specialty clinics that serve more than 70,000 patients in the ACA marketplace as well as Medicare Advantage and Medicaid patients.
- Centene said the deal "provides a platform for expansion of the model across Florida and potentially into other states" and said that with CMG's current network of health plan clients it is "committed to a multi-payor strategy."
The St. Louis-based payer said the acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of this year. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This transaction is the latest vertical integration deal, as providers and payers aim to take more control of the full care-delivery process, with hopes of creating efficiencies and reducing costs. Late last year, UnitedHealth's service arm Optum said it was acquiring DaVita Medical Group, which operates in 300 clinics, seeing about 1.7 million patients a year. Optum also bought Surgical Care Affiliates, an ambulatory surgery center chain, and Reliant Medical Group in Massachusetts.
Just last week, Hartford HealthCare said it is teaming up with Tufts Plan of Massachusetts to create a health insurance company called CarePartners of Connecticut. Hartford Healthcare CEO Elliot Joseph said in a press release the "new partnership represents an important chapter in a larger story about the exciting shift occurring across the American health care delivery system — for providers and health plans to create meaningful partnerships to make care more accessible, consumer friendly, affordable and ultimately more coordinated."
The biggest among the vertical integration bids is the proposed Aetna-CVS merger, valued at about $70 billion. CVS has more than 1,100 retail clinics, and if the deal is approved, the companies will look to use those entry points to care as a way to catch and monitor costly chronic conditions.
The smaller transactions, such as this latest Centene acquisition, will also be key to watch as organizations test the waters on how and whether vertical integration can lower care costs without sacrificing quality.
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