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Oregon reviews UnitedHealth deal for Amedisys home health, hospice

Deal for hospice and home health agencies in Roseburg, Salem and Portland has sparked a comprehensive review by state merger oversight officials, even as the federal government contemplates legal action
June 4, 2024
This article has been updated for purposes of clarification.

State officials are asking members of the public to weigh on the proposed acquisition of Amedisys — a hospice and home health and company that operates in Roseburg, Salem and Portland — by an increasingly controversial health care giant called UnitedHealth Group. Inc.

UnitedHealth operates Optum, a subsidiary whose takeover of a clinic chain in the Eugene area has sparked numerous complaints. The state recently declined to review the company's controversial acquisition of  The Corvallis Clinic, an 11-clinic company operating in three counties, after the companies cited the local firm's losses as well as a clause in the law allowing an exemption in cases of emergency. Now, Optum proposes to take over Amedisys, a publicly traded firm, including its Oregon offices. The transaction already has federal officials contemplating a lawsuit to block the deal on the national level.

UnitedHealth and Optum are under increasing scrutiny for their market dominance and allegations of anticompetitive conduct.

Under the transaction, a branch of Optum would take over the Amedisys offices. According to the companies' application for approval from the state merger oversight program, "Adding Amedisys’s high-quality home health and hospice care to Optum’s existing suite of health care services, and Optum’s extensive value-based care experience and resources, will accelerate the combined companies’ ability to deliver integrated care, improving outcomes and patient experiences.”

Having already completed an initial review of the transaction in March, the Oregon Health Authority has launched a more in-depth process. 

State officials have set up a web page devoted to the transaction and are soliciting comments from the general public, as well as from current and former patients of Amedisys as well as of several businesses owned by UnitedHealth and operated under different names. The agency is also seeking input from current or former employees, contractors, and other professionals involved in caring for home health or hospice patients. The full list of companies cited by the state announcement is:

  • Amedisys Home Health Care
  • Amedisys Hospice Care
  • Assured Home Health
  • Assured Hospice
  • Brookdale Home Health
  • Health at Home Hospice
  • Heart ‘n Home Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Innovative Senior Care Home Health
  • Salem Home Care
  • Southern Oregon Home Health
  • Three Rivers Home Care

According to an Oregon Health Authority announcement, officials in the health care market oversight office are “reviewing this deal to understand how it could affect home health and hospice services in Oregon.” 

To share a public comment, people can email [email protected] or call 503-945-6161 to leave a voicemail while including the word “Amedisys” in your comment.

Clarification: This article has been updated to add clarity and detail to the state's handling of The Corvallis Clinic acquisition.