How healthcare execs feel about deals like Optum's acquisition of Advisory Board: 5 insights

In November 2017, Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group's Optum bought the Advisory Board for $1.3 billion.

To determine the effect this sale had on healthcare organizations and their relationships with payers or managed care organizations, Reaction Data surveyed 149 healthcare executives. Although Optum's acquisition of the Advisory Board was referenced in Reaction's outreach email, the survey questions focused on general feelings toward payers and managed care organizations purchasing vendors. In fact, the plurality of respondents (36 percent) were not at all familiar with the Optum-Advisory Board deal.

Here are five insights:

1. Thirty-nine percent of respondents indicated they were "very familiar" that managed care organizations and payers are purchasing healthcare provider and vendor organizations.

2. Most respondents (77 percent) said payers owning healthcare vendors has a negative effect on providers. Only 2 percent said it has a positive effect.

3. Respondents were asked to rate how likely they would be to continue working with a data, technology or analytics vendor if it was acquired by a payer on a scale of one — not likely — to seven — very likely. Just over half (55 percent) of respondents indicated they weren't likely to continue working with that vendor, while about a quarter (24 percent) indicated no change.

4. If a vendor was acquired by a payer, most respondents (76 percent) said they would change the types of projects they would pursue with them.

5. Respondents said they would be hesitant to share financial data (47 percent) and patient information (42 percent) with a vendor that had been acquired by a payer. Three percent of respondents said they wouldn't have any concerns with sharing data with such a vendor.

Click here to access the complete report.

Editor's Note: This article was updated June 28, 2018 to clarify UnitedHealth Group is a managed care organization and not a payer. 

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