UnitedHealth Group’s Optum unit will buy the specialty pharmacy Diplomat for $300 million.
The companies said Diplomat, which is a provider of specialty pharmacy and infusion services, will combine with the OptumRx pharmacy benefit management company. Optum will pay Diplomat “$4.00 per share through a cash tender offer and assumption of outstanding debt,” the companies said Monday. Financial terms include the $300 million cash price plus the assumption of more than $560 million in debt.
The deal comes at a time UnitedHealth continues to acquire more medical care providers and services through its Optum unit. Last week, UnitedHealth Group CEO Dave Wichmann said Optum will contribute more than half of UnitedHealth’s profits in 2020.
“With its focus in specialty and infusion services, Diplomat has a proven track record of solving the unique challenges facing patients with complex health care needs,” OptumRx CEO John Prince, said. “This combination will expand the innovative specialty pharmacy and infusion solutions OptumRx can offer to the consumers and clients we serve, helping ensure people get the right medications and services at the right time, in the right setting.”
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In buying Diplomat, executives involved say the company brings “expertise in managing specialty medications that treat patients with complex diseases, such as oncology and immunology, and provides specialized infusion therapies offered in convenient and clinically appropriate settings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.”
The addition of Diplomat comes as Optum executives begin to roll out what they hopes will be a “city-by-city” effort to make medical care more seamless to patients.
While UnitedHealth continues to be the nation’s largest health insurance company, selling commercial, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage plans, its finding growth on the medical care provider side of the healthcare system. Optum owns one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers in OptumRx as well as an array of medical care provider businesses, including doctor practices, surgery centers and urgent care sites across the country.
Andrew Witty, the president of UnitedHealth Group and CEO of Optum said last week at the 2019 Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York that the hundreds of clinics, surgery centers and urgent care assets the company has acquired will increasingly be “wired together” in markets across the U.S. The company has identified 10 markets where that process is underway including Denver, Seattle, Southern California, Las Vegas, Dallas and the New York and New Jersey metropolitan market.