UNITED HEALTHCARE: Buying HealthPartners Of Arizona
Minneapolis-based United HealthCare Corp., the nation's third largest HMO, announced yesterday that it is purchasing HealthPartners of Arizona for an approximately $235 million, the Arizona Daily Star reports. According to a HealthPartners spokesperson, the company's debts -- "reported last fall at around $400 million -- forced them then to start looking for a buyer for the growing statewide managed care company." United HealthCare Health Plans CEO Jeannine Rivet said, "United HealthCare is committed to building on the success of HealthPartners and Arizona Physicians IPA in serving the needs of their local markets. We have the resources to sustain the plan's rapid growth and invest in improved systems and infrastructure, as well as the capabilities and services to deliver added value to members, providers and customers." Tom Perotta, director of HealthPartners' Tuscon operations, said, "This is good for our customers, good for our providers and good for our employees."
United HealthCare grossed $12 billion in revenues in 1997, has 13 million members in 50 states and abroad, 30,000 employees, and 262,000 network physicians. Combined, United and HealthPartners "will have a statewide membership of nearly 700,000." The Daily Star reports that the "United-HealthPartners deal is expected to close by Sept. 1" (Hammondand/Erikson, 6/12).