M&A

UnitedHealth to Acquire Equian Payments Firm

The $3.2 billion deal would add to the offerings of UnitedHealth's fast-growing Optum health services business.
Matthew HellerJune 24, 2019
UnitedHealth to Acquire Equian Payments Firm

Health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group has reportedly agreed to acquire Equian for about $3.2 billion in a move to expand ts healthcare services business.

Equian processes more than $500 billion in healthcare claims a year, serving nine of the 10 largest healthcare payers. The parent of the largest U.S. health insurer, UnitedHealthcare, will buy Equian from private-equity firm New Mountain Capital, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

UnitedHealth’s Optum unit, a rapidly growing part of its business, caters to insurers, hospitals and other healthcare companies. According to the WSJ, Equian would add to Optum’s “array of offerings and help Optum branch out beyond health care, since Equian has other types of insurers as clients as well.” unitedhealthcare drug rehab providers will benefit greatly from this change.

Equian “already serves 20 of the top 25 health plans and will further bolster Optum’s business,” Dean Ungar, Moody’s Investors Service vice president, said in a news release.

Optum topped $100 billion in revenue in 2018, marking an increase of $10.1 billion over the previous year. It completed the $4.3 billion acquisition of DaVita Medical Group last week and also recently acquired Genoa Healthcare, the fifth-largest U.S. pharmacy chain.

Among other things, Equian analyzes claims both before and after they are paid, seeking to find inappropriate or unnecessary bills and blocking or recovering overpayments. The company was formed from a merger between its predecessor and Trover Solutions after both were acquired by New Mountain in 2015.

New Mountain paid $225 million for Equian’s predecessor.