Dec. 6 (UPI) -- To expand its medical offerings, UnitedHealth Group said Wednesday its Optum division will buy DaVita Medical Group for nearly $5 billion.
The health company said the move will provide more access to patients and improve care quality.
DaVita Medical Group will become part of Optum's OptumCare division, which serves millions of consumers through 30,000 affiliated physicians and hundreds of care facilities.
The transaction, expected to close next year, will merge Optum's data, analytics, technologies and clinical expertise with DaVita physicians.
Officials said the move joins DaVita Medical Group's reach in California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington with Optum's strategic care delivery portfolio, including Surgical Care Affiliates, MedExpress and HouseCalls.
"The combination of DaVita Medical Group and Optum should lead to even higher levels of performance," said DaVita CEO Kent Thiry.
DaVita serves 1.7 million patients per year in about 300 primary and specialist care medical clinics, 35 urgent-care centers and six outpatient surgery centers. Officials said the merger will help fund stock repurchases and repay debt.
The merge gives DaVita and UnitedHealth more access to patients across the country. Optum will not acquire the kidney-care portion of the DaVita business, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The announcement comes just days after CVS Health said it will acquire insurer Aetna for $69 billion.