UnitedHealth Group Remains Committed to ‘Strategically Critical’ LHC Group Deal

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) is still awaiting its pending deal of the home health giant LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) to close.

In the meantime, while LHC Group remains relatively quiet on that front, UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Whitty reemphasized his company’s desire to get the deal done and the show on the road. The plan is to eventually make LHC Group part of Optum.

“The bringing together of LHC within the overall Optum organization is really important to us, and we’re very committed to that transaction,” Whitty said on UnitedHealth Group’s second quarter earnings call Friday. “We believe it really is going to be a significant enhancement of the quality of care that can be delivered. And we think it can really contribute towards improved value-based delivery for patients.”


The pending UnitedHealth Group-LHC Group deal was originally announced on March 29. Since then, it has been undergoing standard processes related to deals of this size – $5.4 billion – in addition to some additional legwork.

In June, both companies received a request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for more information over the deal. Reportedly, the request was centered around worker pay in the home health care space. LHC Group declined to comment on the FTC inquiry.

The two parties are still hoping the deal will close in the second half of 2022.


“I think, as is always the case, making sure that the incentive system is appropriate to drive the right kind of care is really important,” Whitty continued. “So I hope very much over time that CMS and others continue to see the value of home care and that, in fact, the support is given and the signals are given to continue to increase the development of high-quality care in the home environment.”

The Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group delivers home health, hospice and home- and community-based services and facility-based care across 37 states and the District of Columbia.

On Optum’s end, it has also quietly been forming a consumer health JV with Red Ventures’ health care portfolio, dubbed “RVO Health.”

Whitty also commented on Optum’s evolution on the earnings call.

“Optum Health and Optum Rx’s clinical platforms span a continuum of care settings — from virtual to post-acute, [to] clinic … to in the home — enabling our care teams to meet patients’ unique needs by providing personalized, connected care,” Whitty said. “Our approach helps patients stick with their prescribed care programs, allowing them to spend more time in the comfort of their own homes.”

He also said the company was waiting to see how the LHC Group deal “plays out,” but added that UnitedHealth Group was committed to the deal and sees it as a “strategically critical way of extending better care to folks in homes.” 

UnitedHealth Group’s Q2 2022 revenues totaled $80.3 billion, up 13% year over year. Optum’s revenues were up by 15%, from $38.3 billion last year in the second quarter to $45.1 billion this year.

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