HealthCare Partners-Davita merger creates ACO

Under the $4.42 billion deal, dialysis chain DaVita Inc. yesterday announced it will acquire California-based physician group operator HealthCare Partners, branching out into a large, integrated accountable care organization, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The proposed DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. merger reflects the consolidation trend, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Rather than merging with a health plan or hospital system, the country's largest operator of medical groups and physician networks partnered with the Denver-based provider of kidney dialysis services. HealthCare Partners CEO Robert Margolis said he wasn't interested in other partnerships because health plans and hospital systems historically have poor track records of managing doctors, according the LA Times. DaVita has had a reputation for coordinated patient care for years, the article noted.

"DaVita's vision 'to build the greatest healthcare community the world has ever seen' and HealthCare Partners' aspiration to lead the transformation of American healthcare to higher quality, efficiency and value are absolutely complementary to each other," Margolis said in a statement yesterday.

HealthPartners and DaVita merged because the two share the same passion for clinical quality, according to the announcement.

The DaVita deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Margolis will continue running Healthcare Partners as a subsidiary of DaVita, according to the LA Times.

For more information:
- see the WSJ article (subscription required)
- here's the LA Times article
- check out the statement

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