In recent years, Optum, part of UnitedHealth Group, has grown significantly through the acquisition of numerous physician practices and the ownership or affiliation of over 90,000 providers. This makes up nearly 10% of all physicians in the United States. However, most of these acquisitions have gone largely unnoticed by the public.
However, Optum’s recent purchase in Oregon has caught the attention of state regulators. This trend is becoming more common in the healthcare industry as states seek to increase oversight of mergers and acquisitions.
In fact, Oregon is leading the way in advocating for greater scrutiny of healthcare mergers and acquisitions. The state already has some of the strictest healthcare market oversight laws in the country. As a result, other states such as Illinois, Minnesota and New York have followed suit and approved similar monitoring programs. This will likely result in increased monitoring of businesses in these states in the near future.
Five other states – Vermont, Washington, Pennsylvania, Indiana and New Mexico – are currently considering legislation to begin or expand their own surveillance programs. This reflects a growing trend towards increased scrutiny and regulation of mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare industry.