UnitedHealth Group is spending about USD 5.4 billion to delve deeper into home health care with the acquisition of LHC Group.
The health care giant said Tuesday that it will pay $170 in cash for each share of LHC's stock in a deal expected to close later this year.
UnitedHealth, which runs the nation's largest health insurer, will add LHC Group to its Optum Health business, which operates primary care clinics and surgery centers.
LHC Group provides in-home health and hospice care to patients dealing with injuries, illnesses or chronic conditions.
The Lafayette, Louisiana, company has 964 locations in 37 states. Health insurers and other payers have been emphasing home-based care more in recent years, a trend fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Technology improvements also allow for more care to be provided at home, and payers see the practice as a good alternative to expensive stays in hospitals or care centers when possible.
Last year, UnitedHelath rival and Medicare Advantage provider Humana spent $5.7 billion to expand its home health business. Regulators and LHC Group shareholders still need to approve the acquisition. Shares of LHC Group jumped 7 per cent in premarket trading.
(With inputs from PTI)