An 'arms race': 10 payer M&A deals to know from 2022

An analyst likened the current payer merger and acquisition environment to an "arms race," during a Nov. 3 Cigna investor call. 

Here are 10 of the key payer deals in 2022:

1. Centene completed its $2.2 billion purchase of Phoenix-based behavioral health provider Magellan Health on Jan. 4, making it one of the country's largest behavioral health providers. 

2. UnitedHealth Group's Optum unit agreed to buy Lafayette, La.-based home-health firm LHC Group March 29 in a $5.4 billion deal. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. 

3. UnitedHealth Group's Optum arm bought Houston-based medical group Kelsey-Seybold Clinic (first reported by Axios in April). Optum and Kelsey-Seybold have declined to disclose the terms of the deal. 

4. Centene completed the sale of its specialty and rare drug pharmacy Pantherx to Vistria Group, General Atlantic and Nautic Partners on July 14. Centene had purchased Pantherx in December 2020. It had announced the deal in May along with the separate sale of Magellan Rx to Prime Therapeutics. The two deals are worth a total of $2.8 billion. 

5. Humana completed the sale of a 60 percent stake in its subsidiary Kindred at Home's hospice and personal care business to the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on Aug. 11. The $2.8 billion deal was announced in April. 

6. UnitedHealth acquired KS Plan Administrators, a Medicare health insurer in Houston affiliated with Kelsey-Seybold. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in the Aug. 12 regulatory filing. 

7. Aetna parent company CVS Health agreed to purchase home health company Signify Health in an $8 billion deal Sept. 5. Though Signify's services will remain open for all payers to contract with, Aetna will benefit from an expanded value-based provider network in all 50 states and the ability to deliver better care to members at home.

8. UnitedHealth Group completed its $7.8 billion acquisition of healthcare data and analytics giant Change Healthcare on Oct. 3 after a Washington, D.C., federal judge sided Sept. 19 with the company over the Justice Department's challenge of the deal. The Justice Department plans to appeal the ruling.

9. Molina Healthcare finalized its acquisition of AgeWell New York's Medicaid managed long-term care business for $110 million on Oct. 3. The deal was first announced in October 2021 and will integrate AgeWell into Molina's Senior Whole Health of New York business.

10. Cigna's health services arm Evernorth will be a minority owner in VillageMD after it invested in the primary care disruptor's $8.9 billion acquisition of Summit Health. Evernorth's collaboration with VillageMD is part of its effort to accelerate value-based services. 

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