UnitedHealth Group says it has acquired Equian, an Indiana-based company that insurance companies hire to help recover payments from those who file inaccurate claims for coverage.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth was paying about $3.2 billion for Equian, which is known as a “payment integrity” firm.
At that time, a UnitedHealth spokesman said the company would not comment on “market rumors and speculation.” But earlier this month, Andrew Witty, the chief executive of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum division, mentioned the Equian purchase at an investor conference.
“Equian is part of Optum, consistent with our strategy of providing end-to-end payment integrity solutions in the market, driving more efficient use of health care dollars for payers, providers, patients and their communities,” the company said this week in a statement to the Star Tribune.
UnitedHealth Group is Minnesota’s largest company by revenue, with more than $200 billion in annual sales, and is the nation’s largest health insurer. Optum is the company’s fast-growing division that provides health care services.
Equian describes itself as “a leading end-to-end payment integrity organization” that manages more than $500 billion in claims data annually. The company says on its website that it helps health plans, workers’ compensation insurers and property and casualty carriers recover inaccurate transactions.
“Equian acts on data to pay the right party, the right amount, at the right time delivering over $2.5 billion annually in actionable savings throughout the payment spectrum,” the company says.
The Journal reported that Equian was owned by the New York-based private equity firm New Mountain Capital. The firm’s website says that Equian employs 1,100, and has about 300 customers, including “nine of the Top 10 healthcare payers.”
The private equity firm says that Equian helps insurance companies contain costs by ensuring that they “pay correct amounts for appropriate services and levels of care,” according to the New Mountain Capital website.
Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744 Twitter: @chrissnowbeck