Insurance company UnitedHealth Group has announced a deal in which it will purchase Surgical Care Affiliates for $2.3 billion, reported The New York Times.
The move by UnitedHealth Group to purchase this network of outpatient surgery facilities is part of an effort to expand and enhance its services. Already, the Optum unit of UnitedHealth offers a wide range of services, including direct medical care to patients through its associated centers.
Through offering healthcare services to insurers, hospitals and doctors, the insurance group has 20,000 affiliated physicians at present.
"Combining SCA and OptumCare will enable us to continue the transition to high-quality, high-value ambulatory surgical care, partnering with the full range of health systems, medical groups and health plans," vice chairman of UnitedHealth Group and chief executive of Optum, Larry Renfro said in a statement.
The trend of both doctors and patients turning toward outpatient surgical centers, which help to cut costs while improving efficiency, is growing, according to The Chicago Tribune. In fact, between 2000 and 2014, the number of these facilities increased by 80 percent, according to figures from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission cited by the source.
It is expected that the acquisition of SCA will be complete by the end of the second quarter of 2017.