In recent years, Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, has been making waves in the healthcare industry with its numerous acquisitions of physician practices. With over 90,000 providers under its wing, which is nearly 10% of all physicians in the United States, Optum has grown significantly. However, most of these acquisitions have occurred without much public attention.
However, a recent acquisition by Optum in Oregon has drawn significant scrutiny from state regulators. This trend is becoming more common in the healthcare industry as states are advocating for more oversight in mergers and acquisitions. For instance, Oregon is leading the way by having some of the most stringent health care market oversight laws in the country. Other states such as Illinois, Minnesota, and New York have followed suit and approved similar oversight programs. As a result of this increased scrutiny, deals in these states are being subjected to more scrutiny.
Five other states including Vermont, Washington, Pennsylvania, Indiana and New Mexico are currently considering legislation to begin or expand their own oversight programs. This reflects a growing trend of increased scrutiny and regulation of healthcare industry mergers and acquisitions. As such, it is likely that we will see more instances of regulatory interference in healthcare deals in the future.