Dec 6, 2017

UnitedHealth acquires DaVita's medical group for $4.9 billion

UnitedHealth Group is expanding more into providing care. Photo: Jim Mone / AP

UnitedHealth Group is buying DaVita Medical Group, a large physician network that cares for patients in six states and is owned by kidney-care giant DaVita, for $4.9 billion. The group will become part of UnitedHealth's Optum division.

Why it matters: UnitedHealth is known for its massive health insurance arm. But this deal — combined with its recent acquisitions of surgery centers, urgent care clinics, a health care consulting company, a pharmacy benefit manager and other physician practices — shows again that the behemoth corporation continues to expand outside insurance and into the actual delivery of health care.

Get smart: The CVS-Aetna merger attempts to chase after UnitedHealth, which likely either has data about you or covers your health care in some way.

The other side: Reuters recently reported DaVita was considering selling the medical group, which had been losing money. DaVita will use the money to buy back stock and focus on its core dialysis business, which has been under intense scrutiny for financial ties to a charity that helps dialysis patients pay for their private insurance.

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Trump announces 30-day extension of coronavirus guidelines

President Trump announced on Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30 in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has now infected more than 130,000 Americans and killed nearly 2,500.

Why it matters: Top advisers to the president have been seeking to steer him away from Easter as an arbitrary deadline for the U.S. to open parts of its economy, amid warnings from health officials that loosening restrictions could cause the number of coronavirus cases to skyrocket.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 716,101 — Total deaths: 33,854 — Total recoveries: 148,900.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 136,880 — Total deaths: 2,409 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.