Healthcare reform has had a major impact on the margins of U.S. insurance companies. Naturally, they have started to look to other lines of business to improve their overall margins. Even before the healthcare reform bill was signed last March, Humana announced the acquisition of Concentra, a national primary care, urgent care and occupational health provider. United Healthcare has always operated at the forefront of this trend with its moves into health IT and data management through its Ingenix subsidiary.
Health insurers now may look to other lines of business both in the provider space and back-office administration of healthcare providers. We may see insurers with more interest in Concentra-like models of urgent care and primary care medicine. The WSJ examined this trend in a recent article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703643104576291022457851278.html Will this be a new exit strategy for private equity owners of service businesses?