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Steve Breinholt, KSL TV

Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare to acquire large network and expand to Nevada

By Wendy Leonard, KSL | Posted - Jun. 20, 2019 at 6:02 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's Intermountain Healthcare will soon extend further south, serving some 350,000 patients in the greater Las Vegas area.

The largest nonprofit health care provider in the Beehive State already owns and operates several facilities in Idaho, but the acquisition of HealthCare Partners Nevada puts them on the map there.

The sale is part of conditions dictated by the Federal Trade Commission to UnitedHealth in its approval of UnitedHealth's multibillion-dollar purchase of Nevada's DaVita Medical Group, in order to keep health care competitive in the area.

"Without a remedy in the Las Vegas area, the proposed acquisition will likely reduce competition in the markets for: managed care provider organization services sold to Medicare Advantage insurers; and Medicare Advantage plans sold to individual Medicare Advantage members," the FTC said.

UnitedHealth's OptumCare and operations owned by DaVita would have controlled 80 percent of the market, according to Forbes, which reported on the FTC approval.

UnitedHealth is expected to complete the sale of HealthCare Partners Nevada to Intermountain Healthcare within 40 days of the FTC approval, which was Wednesday.

SelectHealth, an insurance subsidiary of Intermountain, has already been offering Medicaid Advantage plans throughout Clark County after it announced a partnership with P3 Health Partners a year ago. The area, which includes medical clinics and specialty care affiliates throughout Pahrump, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite and Boulder City, has a growing Medicare-eligible population.

"We're excited to join with HealthCare Partners Nevada," Intermountain President and CEO Marc Harrison said. "Both organizations are like-minded and share a commitment to keeping people well and providing the communities we serve with high-quality, value-based care. We'll combine unique strengths to provide extraordinary health services to patients."

HealthCare Partners will continue serving patients and working with Nevada hospitals, physicians and health insurance plans, according to Intermountain.

The network of 1,800 employees, including 340 physicians and advanced care providers, was acquired by DaVita in 2012 for $4.42 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports, when DaVita diversified its kidney-care services.

It was the largest network in the United States at the time, and DaVita has since expanded it. The group owns and operates 55 clinics, but is associated with 1,500 providers, 20 hospitals and 45 primary and urgent care clinics, according to Intermountain.

We're excited to join with HealthCare Partners Nevada. Both organizations are like-minded and share a commitment to keeping people well and providing the communities we serve with high-quality, value-based care. We'll combine unique strengths to provide extraordinary health services to patients.

–Intermountain President and CEO Marc Harrison

UnitedHealth did not purchase DaVita's growing kidney-care business.

Mark Price, president of HealthCare Partners Nevada, said "Intermountain and HealthCare Partners desire the same thing — to provide great access to the highest quality care at an affordable cost."

HealthCare Partners Nevada, a leader in value-based care and the second-largest medical group in southern Nevada, will retain its name. It is not expected to become a part of the Intermountain Medical Group.

Following the acquisition, which is anticipated to be complete in July, HealthCare Partners Nevada will be known as "an Intermountain Healthcare Company."

"This is great news for our teams and southern Nevada," Price said.

Despite layoffs and restructuring efforts that began in 2017, Intermountain told employees that the acquisition will help to "further our mission of helping even more people live the healthiest lives possible." It does not signal a new direction for Intermountain, though the two organizations "will explore opportunities to collaborate as we learn from each other."

Intermountain Healthcare operates 22 hospitals and 185 clinics in Utah and Idaho and is the state of Utah's largest employer, with 39,000 employees.

The work of providers, administrators and caregivers in Utah, Idaho and other areas will not change, Intermountain reports. Email: Twitter: wendyleonards

Wendy Leonard

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