UnitedHealth Group has closed its $5.4 billion acquisition LHC Group, the home health and hospice provider notified the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
“As demand for care in the home increases, this combination will help elevate the healthcare experience for the people Optum and LHC Group serve, prioritizing quality and seamless coordination that reduces fragmentation and complexity,” the Lafayette, Louisiana-based company wrote in its filing.
UnitedHealth Group and LHC Group did not immediately respond to interview requests.
UnitedHealth agreed last March to buy LHC Group, which operates 964 locations in 37 states. The transaction was under Federal Trade Commission review but the regulator did not move to block the deal. The FTC did not immediately respond to an interview request.
LHC Group’s operations will be folded into UnitedHealth Group’s Optum healthcare services and delivery subsidiary and will support the company’s plan to make Optum the entry point for patients to the UnitedHealth brand.
Last year, UnitedHealth spent $21.4 billion on acquisitions including Irving-based Healthcare Associates of Texas, behavioral health and substance abuse chain Refresh Mental Health of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic medical group in Houston.
UnitedHealth Group is the largest health insurer by membership with nearly 51.7 million policyholders and the largest employer of physicians, with Optum having more than 60,000 doctors on staff.
Rival insurance companies have engaged a similar strategy to position themselves as “payviders.”
CVS Health, which owns the insurer Aetna, acquired home health provider Signify Health and primary care chain Oak Street Health in recent months. Humana, which bills itself as the largest operator of Medicare primary care clinics, expects to add 50 more sites to its growing CenterWell arm this year. The company formerly known as Anthem invested so heavily in care delivery and health technology in 2021 that it rebranded as Elevance Health to reflect its expanded suite of healthcare services.