- Optum is set to acquire Atrius Health, a nonprofit physician practice with more than 30 medical offices in the Boston area that delivers primary care and a slew of other specialty services.
- Atrius Health CEO Steve Strongwater, who is also a physician, confirmed the transaction on Wednesday in a statement to Healthcare Dive.
- Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Optum, a segment of UnitedHealth Group, declined to comment.
The deal greatly expands Optum's healthcare delivery unit in the state of Massachusetts.
Optum's operations include a network of more than 53,000 physicians across the country and already encompasses Reliant Medical Group in Massachusetts.
Reliant's practice manages 25 locations with more than 500 providers. The Atrius Health pick up will add another 715 doctors to Optum's physician portfolio in Massachusetts.
The deal will face scrutiny and is subject to regulatory review and approval, Atrius said.
The state typically monitors healthcare cost growth via its independent board, the Health Policy Commission.
The state attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sizing up its physician practice is an important long-term strategy for Optum, which is seeking to build a large health network over the next decade.
At the beginning of the year, executives said during a call with investors they wanted to bulk up the roster of physicians by adding 10,000 more providers in 2021. Leaders boasted about notable progress in certain regions, including the Northeast and Southern California.
An integrated model is what sets UnitedHealth Group apart. It manages the nation's largest commercial health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, and its own pharmacy benefit manager. By bringing together these services under one umbrella, UnitedHealth believes it can drive down costs.
UnitedHealthcare has started to sell plans that direct members to its own doctors, aiming to keep patients in a more narrow and integrated network to better control costs.