UnitedHealth Group added more home care to its Optum unit with the close of the LHC Group deal on 22 February. Final cost was $5.4 billion or $170 per share of the now-delisted Nasdaq company. The acquisition was announced in March and survived two reviews: a request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for additional information which held up the close past the original December date and a shareholder suit on ‘material nondisclosure’ in the SEC filing. FTC requested information on worker pay and ‘vertical harm’ on market competition, but did not proceed with further action prior to the closing. LHC Group serves 960 locations in 37 states, with 30,000 employees and revenue of $2.2 billion last year. The original announcement indicated that the Louisiana-based management team will be coming over to Optum Health and co-founders Keith and Ginger Myers will personally invest $10 million in UHG following the acquisition close. Interestingly, as of today (Thursday noon ET), neither company has announced the closing on their websites. Home Health News, FierceHealthcare For those into value-based care, as previously noted, Optum is acquiring via LHC Imperium Health, a good-sized ACO, population health, and management services company. It’s another fit as Optum is a major physician group owner, many of whom are also in ACOs, and made LHC even more attractive. According to their website, Imperium now manages 16 ACOs and is in partnership with a large ACO group.
Unsurprisingly, Teladoc notched a record loss for 2022– $13.7 billion on revenue of $2.4 billion. This included the Q1 2022 $6.6 billion write-off of the Livongo acquisition. On the investor call, company executives scaled down 2023 revenue forecasts to $2.55-$2.68 billion, which is about 9% growth. Teladoc remains at about 80 million members. The company’s ‘balanced growth’ plan to move toward profitability has already resulted in January’s announcement of 6% of staff being laid off and a reduced geographic footprint, presumably including real estate and leases. Healthcare Dive, HISTalk 2/24/23 which also cross-references the MedCityNews Livongo ‘lemon’ interview
Olive AI continues to shrink and juggle, with today’s announcement of their putting their utilization management service line up for sale. Earlier, they announced divesting their population health and 340B service lines to a sister company. The UM line buyer would take on the accounts and the 100-person staff. Olive AI is an automator of routine health system administration tasks such as these. Their pivot will be in automating revenue cycle management for health systems. Last week, Olive announced the release of 215 employees, about 35% of its remaining staff, in addition to its July layoff of 450 employees, then about 33% of staff. If this Editor’s calculations are correct, Olive is down to about 900 or less. Becker’s Original report in Axios is paywalled, but indicates problems with the software’s efficacy, multiple executive departures, and a previous asset sale.
Yes, Virginia–non-competes ARE enforceable. So Amy Bricker, Cigna’s former head of pharmacy benefits unit Express Scripts, found out when she tried to join CVS as a senior executive as chief product officer for its consumer area, not Caremark which is a direct competitor. She had signed a two-year non-compete/non-disclosure barring her from any employment with any direct competitor. Cigna apparently imposes non-competes on only their most senior executives, a total of 16. This is a temporary restraining order from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to bar her from joining the company, duration unknown. Cigna had to post a $250,000 bond for possible future damages. FTC (again) is attempting to ban non-compete use both in future and retroactively. Restraining order, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Dive
Some blue side up news:
- Mission Daybreak Grand Challenge awarded by the VA. 10 companies were awarded $20 million to pursue digital health approaches to prevent veteran suicide as part of a 10-year VA initiative. The first-place winners were Stop Soldier Suicide and Televeda, awarded $3 million each. Healthcare IT News has additional details on all the finalists.
- Digital health is leveraging an existing $14.2 billion FCC initiative called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Two companies, Equiva Health, a digital patient engagement and health relationship management solution provider, is partnering with internet provider Infiniti Mobile to create Equiva ACP Connect. The product configures tablets and mobile devices for care management and patient education distributed by hospitals, nursing homes, insurers, and other healthcare organizations. Release
- Newel Health has received a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to further development for Soturi, a digital therapeutic solution for Parkinson’s disease management. Soturi utilizes data collected from a wearable sensor, using an algorithm-based decision-making method, for personalized treatment. The project will be presented at the SINdem conference in Bressanone, Italy on 24th February. Release (PharmaPhorum)