Prospero Health to Merge with Landmark within UnitedHealth Group’s Optum

After quietly being acquired by Optum toward the beginning of last year, home-based care provider Prospero Health is merging with Landmark Health.

The two companies are under the ownership of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) subsidiary Optum. Landmark reportedly joined Optum at the beginning of 2021.

Both Landmark and Prospero are major palliative care providers in addition to their other medical services. The Prospero-Landmark merger comes on the heels of UnitedHealth Group’s $5.4 billion purchase of the home health and hospice giant LHC Group.


“We are building an integrated care model that holistically addresses an individual’s physical, mental and social needs, changing health care for good,” Optum at Home CEO Douglas Wenners, the founder of Prospero, said in a LinkedIn post.

LinkedIn information posted by Wenners specifies that Prospero was acquired in January 2022.

Wenners founded Propero Health in 2019 and took the helm at Optum at Home early last year.


Tennessee-based Prospero provides interdisciplinary services to 30,000 seniors with complex health needs in 28 states. That’s up from 1,700 patients in three states as of January 2020.

The Landmark merger is expected to be completed within three months. Post-merger, the combined company’s average daily census will reach about 200,000 patients across a 37-state footprint, according to Dr. Kristopher Smith, chief clinical officer for both Prospero Health and Landmark Health.

UnitedHealth Group has been involved with Prospero since the company’s inception as one of its first investors and payer sources.

“It was definitely a big, big priority for [UnitedHealth Group] to have better solutions to help their members, and so they made a decision,” Smith told Hospice News. “Instead of purchasing a company, which they do very often, they made the decision to invest in a home-based palliative care program and provided all the seed funding as well as the initial contract in a couple of markets.”

The merger with Landmark will allow the combined organization to reach more patients through an expanded care continuum.

Integrating Prospero’s palliative and urgent care model and Landmark’s more longitudinal primary care services builds a more comprehensive system with greater touchpoints with their patient population, Smith explained.

The combined organization will also fit nicely into UnitedHealth Group’s stated goal of building a larger, value-based suite of home-based services with Optum as its primary engine.

“We know that at-home care settings — especially for people with mobility challenges and highly complex health needs — can improve outcomes, elevate patient experience and result in better care,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty said during a third-quarter earnings call. ‘“So we bring together teams with medical, behavioral and palliative experience, in addition to our home infusion capabilities of OptumRx. By doing so, we help patients and their families keep multiple chronic conditions in check while significantly reducing the need for care in acute and post-acute settings — really positive for them.”’

Freelance writer Markisan Naso contributed to this report.

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