UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services business Monday made an unsolicited cash offer of more than $3 billion to the board of home health provider Amedisys.
The “all-cash offer,” valued at nearly $3.3 billion, comes as large healthcare companies, are expanding their home health operations as a way to expand in-home medical services. UnitedHealth, which also operates the nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, and its rivals see healthcare in the home as yet another way to ensure patients are getting cost-effective treatment in the right place, at the right time, and in the right amount.
Earlier this year, for example, CVS Health spent $8 billion on Signify Health as part of its effort to add a home care provider and bolster the drugstore chain’s healthcare and technology platform. CVS already owns the health insurance giant Aetna and more than 1,000 MinuteClinics.
“Amedisys’ commitment to quality and care innovation within the home, and the patient-first culture of its people, combined with Optum’s deep value-based care expertise can drive meaningful improvement in the health outcomes and experiences of more patients at lower costs, leading to continued growth,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, chief executive officer of Optum Care Solutions.
Though the $100-per-share bid for Amedisys was unsolicited, UnitedHealth and Optum said in a statement the company was “confident it can secure approval for the combination.” The UnitedHealth/Optum bid comes a month after Amedisys agreed to be bought by Option Care Health Inc. for $97.38 per share in an all-stock deal, according to earlier reports.
“Even with the numerous providers, demand for in-home care far exceeds available supply, creating the need for substantial investment in the sector to more fully serve patients and their families with compassionate, high quality care in the comfort of their own homes,” Optum said in a press release Monday morning. Optum is a much larger player than Option Care, operating doctor practices, clinics, surgery centers and an array of other outpatient care operations across the country.
Meanwhile, Amedisys said Monday in a statement it remains “bound by the terms” of its 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 with Option Care Health,” the home care company said.
“The merger agreement with Option Care Health does not permit Amedisys to terminate the merger agreement in favor of an alternative transaction, or to enter into any agreements with respect to an alternative transaction, other than a confidentiality agreement,” Amedisys said. “Amedisys notes that there can be no assurance that the discussions with Optum will result in a transaction.”