Optum to Acquire Urgent Care Company MedExpress

Health services company Optum will be joining with MedExpress, an operator of urgent-care clinics, to enhance care.

UnitedHealth Group has continued its buying streak, announcing its Optum division’s purchase of MedExpress. The companies did not disclose financial details of the deal.

The combination of the companies is expected to be complementary, since both MedExpress and Optum share a focus on expanding access to high-quality, cost-effective health care services in communities nationwide. The merger is expected to serve the growing demand among consumers, health systems, employers and health plans for more convenient, lower-cost services on an unscheduled basis for a comprehensive scope of outpatient health care needs.

“MedExpress has set the highest standards of care quality, convenience and compassion for patients in the communities it serves,” said Optum’s CEO Larry Renfro. “We look forward to working with MedExpress to build on the exceptional care and services it provides today, and to expanding this progressive and successful approach to care to more communities across the country.”

Currently, MedExpress operates 141 full-service neighborhood medical centers in 11 states. This year, the company plans to accelerate its expansion by opening 25 to 30 additional centers in both existing and new states. While the company is known for its urgent care clinic offerings, the company’s services extend beyond these typical offerings to a variety of patient services, including wellness and prevention, prescriptions, blood work, imaging and lab services, as well as workers’ compensation and occupational medical services that also help employers serve the health needs of their employees.

Optum provides consulting, management and data analytics services to hospitals, payers and other healthcare companies. It has become a large, profitable division of UnitedHealth.

The combination of the companies will create opportunities to integrate Optum care management and clinical programs with MedExpress’ services, simplifying patient access to health resources and treatment options in their community. Both patients and physicians can benefit from Optum analytic tools and insights that inform care decisions and support the best possible health outcomes.

“Partnering with a health services innovator like Optum will help MedExpress further realize our focus on improving the health of the communities we serve,” said Frank Alderman, MD, CEO of MedExpress. “Optum shares our commitment to ensuring people can get the care they need, when and where they need it. Optum is a leader in supporting local physicians in providing their best patient care.”

The MedExpress deal follows two announced acquisitions by Optum late last year. In September, Optum agreed to acquire physician practice consulting firm, MedSynergies, and in October it bought care-monitoring company Alere Health. Additionally, last month, OptumRx, the pharmacy benefits division of UnitedHealth and Optum, agreed to merge with Catamaran Corp., creating the third largest PBM in the US.

Source: Optum

Last updated: 4/10/15; 10:30am EST



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