UnitedHealth’s Amedisys Deal Come as Home Health and Data Cement Care Ecosystems 

In healthcare, the latest acquisition brings to mind that old Fred Astaire song lyric:

“Won’t you change partners and dance with me?”

On Monday, as had been reported here, Amedisys, the home health and hospice firm, agreed to be acquired by UnitedHealth’s Optum. In doing so, the $3.3 billion all-cash deal represents a pivot for Amedisys, where that firm had been in the middle of a merger with Option Care Health.

The shift underscores the lure of healthcare delivered at home, of data underpinning it all, to help UnitedHealth broaden a healthcare ecosystem.

Wall Street, of course, will be busy parsing the valuations and perhaps mulling what’s next for Option Care. For UnitedHealth, the Amedisys deal marks the second deal in a bit more than a year in the home-based space, after the early 2022 purchase of LHC Group.

Digging into Amedisys’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company’s latest 10-Q details revenue growth to $343.2 million from $335.7 million last year. And within the consolidated top line, the company logged 12% in non-Medicare revenue and total admissions were up 8% in the period. Visits recorded topped 1.77 million from 1.71 million last year.

Data and Analytics Help Transform Care

And, as the filing goes on to note: “We have an investment in Medalogix, a healthcare predictive data and analytics company.”  Per the Medalogix site, the company’s offerings include a predictive analytics system that “utilizes over 300 billion calculations to build patient-centered, individualized recommendations” and which reduces “back and forth” on plan authorizations.

As PYMNTS has reported, Optum has been building out its data and analytics presence. Late last year the company bought Change Healthcare, which then became part of UnitedHealth subsidiary Optum. Change, for its part, leverages analytics to help “automate provider contracts to help reduce costs and improve efficiency,” and also offers financial clearing services that can help patients find funding sources to help pay their medical bills. 

Data has been a key feature of other mergers within healthcare through the past several months — and a continuum of serving patients in a home setting. Signify Health, for example, was acquired by CVS Health last September. Signify also had been the center of a bidding war, the suitors including Amazon and Option Care. And earlier in June, medical products maker Cardinal Health said it was combining its Outcomes business with pharmacy tech firm Transaction Data Systems, linking pharmacy workflow software with patient engagement and clinical solutions.

Separately, as PYMNTS reported in April, and evidence of the continuing link between healthcare and the connected economy, we found that 62% of millennials used a website or app to interact with health providers, while 30% of baby boomers and seniors did the same.