UnitedHealth ventures deeper into patient care with $5B deal

The nation's biggest health insurer is spending nearly $5 billion to buy hundreds of clinics, just three days after rival Aetna announced a tie up with CVS Health.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. said Wednesday that its Optum segment will buy the DaVita Medical Group from DaVita Inc. in a cash deal expected to close next year.

DaVita Medical Group runs nearly 300 primary and specialty care clinics in several states. It also operates urgent care and outpatient surgery centers.

Optum has been adding clinics and expanding the care it provides in recent years.

Health insurers have been pushing deeper into managing or providing patient care in order to cut costs and improve health, especially for those with chronic conditions.