EVERETT — Another day, another major health care consolidation.
Just last year, DaVita Inc. paid $405 million to purchase the independent medical group that started in Everett and is one of the county’s largest employers.
DaVita announced on Wednesday that it is selling its medical group subsidiary, which includes The Everett Clinic, to UnitedHealth Group’s Optum unit.
The deal for $4.9 billion is expected to close in 2018 and is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions.
“I am so proud of the DaVita Medical Group accomplishments, including our excellent clinical outcomes as reflected in our star ratings performance, our strong emphasis on growing physician leaders, our teammate engagement and advancing the care model,” said Kent Thiry, DaVita’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. “The combination of DaVita Medical Group and Optum should lead to even higher levels of performance.”
DaVita Medical Group serves approximately 1.7 million patients per year through nearly 300 medical clinics featuring primary and specialist care. Those clinics are in Washington as well as California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.
DaVita Medical Group also operates 35 urgent-care centers and six outpatient surgery centers.
UnitedHealth Group is based in Minnesota. Its Optum division aims to use data, analytics, technologies and clinical expertise to help DaVita Medical Group physicians provide better care.
“We also look forward to working closely with the leadership team of DaVita Medical Group to combine our capabilities and, supported by the data analytics and technology capabilities of Optum, enhancing patient care and the value we provide to the communities we serve,” said Andrew Hayek, CEO of Optum, in a statement.
The Everett Clinic was founded in 1924 by four physicians. It grew to include more than 2,000 employees with 315,000 patients in Snohomish and Island counties last year.
The medical group’s leadership sought to merge with DaVita, a Fortune 500 company, to finance an ambitious expansion plan. In the past year, The Everett Clinic has added several clinics including ones in Woodinville and Shoreline, the medical group’s first expansion into King County.
The Everett Clinic retained its name and brand after being sold to DaVita.
DaVita, which operates more than 2,200 kidney care centers across the U.S., plans to use the proceeds from the sale to buy back stock, repay debt and use for general corporate purposes.
“Following this transaction, DaVita will continue to be a leader in population health management, with a focus on our U.S. and international kidney care businesses,” Thiry said. “We also expect to pursue other investments in health care services outside of kidney care.”
Jim Davis: 425-339-3097; firstname.lastname@example.org; @HBJnews.