Optum scoops up post-acute care company NaviHealth

UnitedHealth Group's Optum business acquired startup NaviHealth, a company that provides post-acute care management services.

Optum confirmed the acquisition but did not disclose terms of the deal. Sources expect the deal to total more than $1 billion, according to the Nashville Business Journal and PE Hub.

NaviHealth's previous private equity owner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, received $1.1 billion in cash after buying a majority stake in the company just 21 months ago, PE Hub reported, citing sources. The deal values NaviHealth at $2.5 billion, the publication said.

In 2015, Cardinal Health bought a majority stake in NaviHealth, paying $290 million in cash for 71% of the company, the Nashville Post reported.

Three years later the company traded hands again. In June 2018, Cardinal Health sold a 55% stake in the company to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for about $650 million, according to the Post.

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Founded in 2012, Brentwood, Tenn.-based NaviHealth teams with health plans, hospital systems, risk-bearing physician groups, and other health care providers to coordinate clinical decision-making and track patients’ data via its technology tools. The company manages post-acute services for about 4.5 million Medicare Advantage members and serves more than 140 hospitals in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’  Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced program.

The company developed decision-support tools and uses standardized clinical operations and local care coordinators to help identify existing care resources in the community and the best next course of treatment for each patient.

NaviHealth's approach has shown to help patients recover more quickly from an acute health episode and hospitalization, according to the company.

The startup will continue to serve its clients and members as a standalone entity aligned with OptumHealth, the health care services and delivery business of Optum. The company will maintain its current leadership team under CEO Clay Richards.

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Optum officials said the company will combine NaviHealth’s post-acute clinical model and data-driven insights with its existing community-based health care and clinical capabilities to provide personalized, value-based care coordination for patients with complex health conditions.

"For the past eight years, NaviHealth has worked tirelessly combining data and clinical insights to improve the health care experience and help seniors live more fulfilling lives. Now, as part of the Optum organization, we can further deliver on this mission. Our leadership team remains committed to providing value to our customers, and excited about how we can serve patients even better," said Richards, in a statement.

Optum also is close to pinning down a deal to acquire virtual therapy provider AbleTo for $470 million.

UnitedHealth has made several acquisitions of late that it folded into Optum. The diverse subsidiary, which includes a massive pharmacy benefits manager, physician services and hospitals, and various technology platforms, is a key source of financial growth for the company.