Amedisys says Oregon regulators are reviewing its $3.7B acquisition by UnitedHealth

Amedisys disclosed Tuesday that Oregon regulators are probing the company's potential acquisition by UnitedHealth Group.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued a report March 14 in which it said it intended to conduct a full review of the potential deal, according to Amedisys' filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency will complete the review within 180 days of the receipt of transaction forms, which the OHA confirmed in December, the filing says.

"UnitedHealth Group and Amedisys’ obligations to effect the proposed acquisition of Amedisys are each subject to, among other things, approval from the OHA in connection with the Health Care Market Oversight Program Notice of Material Change filed with respect to the proposed acquisition," the company wrote in the filing.

Amedisys, a large home health provider, accepted a $3.7 billion all-cash offer from UHG in June 2023, and, should the deal go through, it will be folded into Optum. UnitedHealth outbid Option Care Health, as Amedisys had entered into a merger agreement with Option Care the month prior.

Amedisys' shareholders approved the deal in September.

In the preliminary report (PDF) posted last week, OHA said that the deal could potentially impact a significant number of people in the Beaver State. It could drive further consolidation of the home health market, the agency said, and could have anticompetitive effects as another example of vertical integration.

"This transaction has the potential to reduce competition in Oregon’s market for home health and hospice services and other health care markets in the state," OHA said in the report. "The transaction would increase concentration in Oregon’s market for home health and hospice services, and further vertical consolidation of a large health insurer with a provider organization may increase the risk anticompetitive effects."

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also probing the deal on antitrust grounds. The DOJ is reportedly reviewing UnitedHealth Group overall, with a particular focus on Optum and the rapid growth of its Optum Health unit.