Optum Health acquisition of California physician group sparks litigation

When a large vertically integrated health care insurer that also has a health utilization and wellness consulting unit takes over a physician group that has a pre-existing relationship with a payer, that payer may well feel threatened.  Enough so to motivate it to sue the physician group.

That’s what has happened following the acquisition of California-based Monarch HealthCare last year by UnitedHealth Group’s Optum Health unit.  Blue Shield of California’s breach of contract lawsuit against Monarch shows the transition from traditional payer-provider relationships to broader-based relationships aimed at reducing patient medical utilization and improving health outcomes will encounter some speed bumps along the way.

California HealthLine has the story here.


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Frederick Pilot

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