In a year dominated by proposed cross-sector health care mega-mergers like the CVS-Aetna deal, UnitedHealth Group flew somewhat under the radar. But America’s largest health insurer was far from idle. The prolific dealmaker continued to feed its multi-purpose Optum unit—which manages pharmacy benefits, provides health services, and conducts data analytics—including through Optum’s proposed acquisition of DaVita Medical Group and its nearly 300 doctor clinics, adding to an already 30,000-strong physician network. UnitedHealth’s 2017 revenues spiked 9% compared with 2016 to $201 billion. That was mirrored by a 9.1% year-over-year boost in Optum’s revenues, which grew to $91.2 billion.
CVS Health made big moves in 2017 to further expand its footprint. The company fully integrated its acquisition of Omnicare and the pharmacies and clinics of Target while focusing on managing rising drug costs. Reports of a potential $68 billion deal to buy health insurer Aetna began swirling in late 2017 that CVS later confirmed. The acquisition will create a health care behemoth with $240 billion in annual revenue across sectors including retail pharmacy, benefit management, and insurance.
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