The news: UnitedHealth Group’s (UHG’s) healthcare services arm Optum is scooping up one of the largest US in-home healthcare organizations, LHC Group, for $5.4 billion, per WSJ.
Why it could succeed: Skilled nursing facilities are accepting fewer patients than ever due to staff shortages and closures, making home healthcare an attractive option as millions age into Medicare over the next few years.
This is a massive problem for older US residents as the Medicare population explodes. The CMS projects Medicare enrollment will increase to 80 million beneficiaries by 2030, up from 54 million in 2015.
The big takeaway: Even though competitors like Humana have made major headway in the home healthcare space, UHG is still on track to dominate every corner of the healthcare industry.
Last year, Humana inked two consecutive deals to acquire home health agencies: In April it dropped $5.7 billion to acquire Kindred at Home, followed by its June 2021 announcement to buy value-based home care services provider onehome.
And while competitors are growing, UHG is growing far more rapidly.
Now that UHG is folding the LHC group into its business, it’ll make the entity even more of a threat to its peers.
What’s next? We suspect Optum will set its sights on a RPM company once its pending deals close, especially since more health execs believe incorporating the tech into clinical care will enhance patient access.
One Liberty Plaza9th FloorNew York, NY 100061-800-405-0844