UnitedHealth Group's Optum business has acquired naviHealth, a company that manages post-acute healthcare services.
Brentwood, Tenn.-based naviHealth works with health plans, hospitals and physician groups to improve a patient's healthcare experience and clinical outcomes after being discharged from the hospital. It aims to do so while saving costs.
"Bringing together naviHealth's post-acute clinical model and data-driven insights with Optum's community-based health care and clinical capabilities will help meet the growing demand for highly personalized, value-based care coordination for patients with complex health conditions across the entire care spectrum," an Optum spokesman said in an email.
In a conversation between UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann and naviHealth CEO Clay Richards posted to YouTube on May 20, Wichmann also noted that the acquisition allows UnitedHealth a greater presence in Nashville, which is known as a healthcare innovation hub.
"I look at this as not only an opportunity to combine with a really terrific organization but also to create a new healthcare hub for UnitedHealth Group in Nashville," he said.
NaviHealth, which was founded in 2012, employs about 2,200 people and serves 4.5 million Medicare Advantage seniors across 50 states. It serves more than 140 hospitals in the CMS' Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced program. In 2015, the company sold a 71% stake of its business to drug and medical products distributor Cardinal Health. Cardinal then sold its majority stake to a private equity firm in 2018.
Under the deal with Optum, naviHealth will operate as a standalone entity aligned with OptumHealth, Optum's Health services unit, and will continue to be led by Richards. Optum declined to disclose the terms of the acquisition.
In the YouTube video, Richards told Wichmann that UnitedHealth's resources will allow naviHealth to reimagine the patient's journey from pre-acute to post-acute care and back home.
"With the healthcare system going through so much transition and, frankly, transformation with COVID, I think this is an incredible time to rethink that entire experience for patients, and we feel really fortunate to be part of a company that has the data, the technology, the clinical resources that can really help us think through how to reimagine that," he said.