DaVita Medical Group operates almost 300 medical clinics that provide primary and specialist care to approximately 1.7 million patients per year. This business serves about 1.7 million patients each year through almost 300 clinics. DaVita's kidney dialysis unit is not included in the deal.
With the purchase, UnitedHealth is increasingly moving into the direct delivery of medical care.
DaVita Medical Group runs almost 300 primary and specialty care clinics in several states.
The deal comes on the heels of this week's announcement that insurer Aetna will merge with CVS in a partnership that many believe will disrupt how healthcare is delivered in the country. That transaction would transform drugstores into community-based health care "hubs", where people can go for a blood test or for help managing a chronic disease like diabetes. The Republicans' proposed tax overhaul could sharply cut payments to federal programs like Medicare as well as upend the Affordable Care Act. "We also expect to pursue other investments in health care services outside of kidney care".
Through its Optum unit, which operates a large pharmacy benefit manager and offers a wide array of health care services, UnitedHealth Group is among the most diversified and the most successful of the large insurers.
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Shares in DaVita rose 9 percent, a $193 million gain for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who owns a 20 percent stake in the dialysis and medical group company. It operates in states including California, Washington and Florida.
DaVita Medical Group includes around 280 clinics offering primary and specialist care, as well as 35 urgent-care centers and six outpatient surgery centers. The group employs around 2,200 health-care providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
UnitedHealth is little changed near $220.10 on the news.
Earlier this year, Optum closed its $2.3 billion acquisition of Surgical Care Affiliates Inc., a major surgical company. In describing the group's most recent quarterly financial results, DaVita's chief executive, Kent J. Thiry, said they were "extremely disappointing".
"Following this transaction, DaVita will continue to be a leader in population health management, with a focus on our US and worldwide kidney care businesses", Kent Thiry, chairman and CEO of DaVita, said in the news release.