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UnitedHealth Buys Change Healthcare To Boost Payments, Administration

After being bought by UnitedHealth, Change Healthcare will join with OptumInsight to boost software and data analytics, tech-fueled research and revenue cycle management offerings for healthcare, according to a press release Wednesday (Jan. 6).

Optum, which is part of UnitedHealth, will work with Change Healthcare to “more effectively connect and simplify core clinical, administrative and payment processes — resulting in better health outcomes and experiences for everyone, at lower cost.”

The agreement, expected to be finalized in the second half of 2021, calls for the acquisition of Change Healthcare’s common stock for $25.75 per share in cash, subject to shareholders’ approval, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. While the total amount of the deal wasn’t announced, TheStreet set its value at $13 billion.

The new combined company will offer several updates, including easier ways to make decisions for patients. The release says Change Healthcare can offer new ways to look at evidence-based clinical criteria, and Optum can contribute analytics tech to offer better evidence bases to boost decision-making.

The combined company will attempt to do away with administrative waste, using Change Healthcare’s tech and Optum’s advanced data analytics to look at insights drawn from billions of claims transactions.

In addition, the release says financial interactions will be simplified using an automated pay network from Optum to make sure physicians get paid faster and giving consumers a convenient, simple way to look at their payments. Meanwhile, Change Healthcare will help with communication benefits, the release says.

“This opportunity is about advancing connectivity and accelerating innovations and efficiencies essential to a simpler, more intelligent and adaptive health system. We share with Optum a common mission and values and importantly, a sense of urgency to provide our customers and those they serve with the more robust capacities this union makes possible,” said Neil de Crescenzo, president and CEO of Change Healthcare. Upon closing, de Crescenzo will serve as OptumInsight’s CEO, leading the combined organization.

Flywire Executive Vice President and General Manager of Healthcare John Talaga told PYMNTS that there was need for revamping the healthcare system to accommodate more affordable payments for customers in need. He said the outcome of patients skirting payments affected both them and hospitals strapped for cash.

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