Optum pitches $3.3B merger with home-health provider Amedisys

Home and hospice care provider Amedisys has received an unsolicited cash offer from UnitedHealth Group's Optum to merge, following an agreement in May to be purchased by infusion services provider Option Care Health. The deal with Optum is valued at $3.26 billion, according to Reuters.

Optum said June 5 it is looking to acquire all outstanding shares of Amedisys' common stock for $100 per share, while Option Care agreed to purchase the company for about $97.38 per share. The $3.6 billion merger with Option Care was expected to close in the second half of 2023.

"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," Patrick Conway, MD, CEO of Optum Care Solutions, said.

Amedisys' board has not determined if Optum's proposal is superior to a merger with Option Care and is "currently engaging in exploratory discussions with Optum with respect to Optum's proposal." The company noted there is no guarantee that discussions with Optum will result in a deal.

Baton Rouge, La.-based Amedisys was founded in 1982 and provides home health, hospice and high-acuity care services. The company employs 18,000 people across 522 care centers in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Optum said the proposed merger represents a 26 percent premium over Amedisys' most recent closing share price and a premium of 29 percent to the unaffected Amedisys share price of $77.26. 

UnitedHealth Group is rapidly growing its home care capabilities. In February, the company closed on its $5.4 billion acquisition of home health firm LHC Group.

Wyatt Decker, CEO of Optum Health, told investors in January that home health offers a large opportunity to provide value-based care to members moving forward because of its convenience and ability to provide better access.

"You will see us both developing, if you will, the platform of home care increasingly in a comprehensive fashion, as well as integrating home care with our clinic-based care model," he said. "And our ability to embed behavioral healthcare services within our primary care and value-based care offerings has been differentiated and will continue to grow, as well as our utilization of virtual behavioral care solutions in both the home and clinic environments."

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