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.