Insurers Eye Medicare Advantage Acquisitions

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , September 2, 2011

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, the New York Times cited analysts who put the purchase price at around $800 million.

HealthSpring and Bravo Health

Nashville-based HealthSpring completed in November 2011 its acquisition of Baltimore-based Bravo Health for $545 million. James said the acquisition provides HealthSpring with the scale and geographic diversification important in the Medicare Advantage market. Diversification helps minimize vulnerabilities in specific markets.

With the acquisition HealthSpring, which had operated primarily in the South, gained an immediate and sizeable Medicare Advantage presence in the Mid-Atlantic region. The privately held Bravo has about 100,000 Medicare Advantage members in the Mid-Atlantic region and Texas. HealthSpring now has 340,000 Medicare Advantage members in 11 states and the District of Columbia.

Like WellPoint's acquisition of CareMore, the Bravo deal includes a number of care centers that provide treatment options outside of the emergency room or hospital.

In a recent conference call with analysts Herb Fritch, CEO of Health Spring, said to his company will look for additional acquisitions in the Medicare Advantage arena to continue to increase its scale and capabilities.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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