Healthinsurershavebeenbuyingphysicianpracticesfordecades.Some early iterations crashed and burned because patients didn't like the managed plans. Later, the Affordable Care Act was expected to prompt a surge of physician practice purchases. Although that never fully materialized, some pretty significant deals emerged.
Who: UnitedHealth Group shells out $2.6 billion for Sierra Health Services, a Las Vegas-based insurer with a 250-doctor medical group.
What happened: UnitedHealth amassed several other doctor groups over the next years, including, in 2011, California-based Monarch HealthCare, an independent practice association with 2,300 physicians, and moved most providers under its Optum umbrella.
Who: Humana buys urgent-care provider Concentra for $790 million.
What happened: Humana sold Concentra to Select Medical Holdings Corp. and a private equity firm for $1.05 billion in 2015. Officials said Concentra's operations didn't align with Humana's strategy.
Who: WellPoint (now Anthem) buys CareMore Health Group, a delivery network that offers Medicare Advantage plans and operates more than two dozen clinics.
What happened: Anthem went on to collect other provider assets, including care-management company AIM Specialty. Most recently, it agreed to buy palliative-care company Aspire Health.
Who: Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliate Highmark buys West Penn Allegheny Health System in Pittsburgh for $475 million, creating a hospital, physician and health plan network.
What happened: Highmark's integrated network grew into a formidable rival of neighboring UPMC, a Pittsburgh integrated system.