Optum drops out of Steward deal – Healthcare Finance News

Photo: Courtesy of UnitedHealth Group
Optum is no longer pursuing a deal to buy the Steward Health Care physician group, according to the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission.
Optum has informed the Health Policy Commission that it is no longer working to finalize an agreement with Steward, the HPC said. The parties have not yet withdrawn material change notice filings with the HPC, the spokesperson said.
Optum had no comment, saying it had nothing to share at this point.
Optum’s purchase of the Steward physician group in Massachusetts was one step in a bankruptcy restructuring process to sell the 31 hospitals in the troubled health system.
The Department of Justice filed an objection to the debtor-in-possession financing terms for Steward Health Care.
Steward cited a “challenging” review process at the federal Department of Justice but said it continues to seek other buyers, according to WMUR.
In March, Steward Health Care in Massachusetts had a deal to sell its physician group to Optum Care. Steward Health Care – which operates nine healthcare facilities across Massachusetts – is currently facing significant financial insecurity as a result of previously accumulated debt.
In May, Steward announced it would sell all of its hospitals in a bankruptcy restructuring bid. Steward owns 31 hospitals across eight states in Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Florida.
Later in May, the Department of Justice filed an objection to the deal. Specifically, the DOJ objected to Steward’s proposed sale of its physician services network, Stewardship Health, to UnitedHealth Group. The timeline outlined in the sale did not give the DOJ enough time to complete its review, the agency said.
Email the writer: SMorse@himss.org
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