RMHP Acquisition with United Healthcare Now Official

The deal announced in September, had to go through the regulatory process.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The acquisition of Rocky Mountain Health Plans by United Healthcare is official and healthcare leaders say they don't expect any changes as that was the purpose of the deal.

"This is a little different than your typical acquisition," said RMHP CEO, Steve ErkenBrack.

According to ErkenBrack, the acquisition announced in September, was needed because the insurance company was losing its financial ability to maintain its level of service.

"I don't want to be coy about it, for Rocky [Mountain Health Plans] to continue to do all of the lines of business in all of the areas where we are, that simply wasn't going to be in the cards." said ErkenBrack.

He says changes made after the initial role out of the affordable care act made some services they provide no longer feasible without more resources.
For others in the healthcare industry, they see a pattern when smaller local organizations are competing with national level corporations in the healthcare industry.

"We struggle." said Community Hospital President and CEO, Chris Thomas, "It is our marching orders and desire to stay independent as a community hospital but, we know the challenges everyday as your out there competing with big national corporations and I'm sure Rocky [Mountain Health Plans] was going through some of the same decisions and challenges we are everyday."

Community both serves RMHP customers but, its employees are also insured under one of its divisions and Thomas said he's not concerned.

"We're optimistic. It's going to change. We aren't going to have the same relationship as we've had in the past but we'll see." said Thomas, "United Healthcare didn't become the biggest healthcare corporation in the world for no reason at all."

One advantage ErkenBrack sees is the access to greater technology through United.

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