DaVita's medical unit had been a significant drag on the company's financial performance in recent quarters.
UnitedHealth's deal for one of the nation's biggest doctor groups, coming the same week as pharmacy giant CVS Health Corp. sealed its $69 billion deal to buy insurer Aetna Inc., underscores how health-care companies are forging deeper into segments outside their traditional core businesses.
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Denver-based DaVita operates medical groups in six states that serve 1.7 million patients through about 300 clinics, adding to UnitedHealth's 250 MedExpress urgent care centers and its 200 surgical centers that are part of recently acquired Surgical Care Affiliates. DaVita operates almost 300 clinics across a half-dozen states, including California and Florida, including eight in Manatee County and one in Lakewood Ranch just south of University Parkway.
DaVita Medical Group runs almost 300 primary and specialty care clinics in several states. DaVita's largest business is kidney care, through the 2,470 outpatient dialysis centers that it runs or provides administrative services to across the US, serving more than 200,000 patients a year.
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Reuters reported last month that DaVita was exploring a sale of its medical unit.
The all-cash deal is UnitedHealth's second major acquisition in 2017 that aims to broaden its reach beyond insurance and boost its outpatient care services through a large network of clinics.
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"Combining DaVita Medical Group and Optum advances our shared goal of supporting physicians in delivering exceptional patient care in innovative and efficient ways", Larry C. Renfro, Optum's chief executive, said in a news release. Its shares are up 36.48% this year, while DaVita is higher by just 0.74%. The companies said the deal was expected to close in 2018.
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