For Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth, it would be the second recent deal in the home-care market; Optum, the company’s health services unit, announced last year a $5.4 billion deal to acquire LHC Group, also based in Louisiana.

Baton Rouge-based Amedisys Inc. entered into a merger agreement with Illinois-based Option Care Health on May 3. The home-care provider told investors Monday that the unsolicited offer from Optum “could reasonably be expected” to result in a superior proposal.

“As permitted by the terms of Amedisys’ merger agreement with Option Care Health, Amedisys entered into a confidentiality agreement with Optum on May 30, 2023, and is currently engaging in exploratory discussions with Optum,” the company said in a news release. “Amedisys remains bound by the terms of the merger agreement with Option Care Health, and Amedisys’ Board has not determined that Optum’s proposal constitutes a Superior Proposal as defined in the merger agreement.”

Option Care Health said in a statement Monday that the previously announced deal “delivers significant value to Amedisys and Option Care Health stockholders [and] a high degree of certainty in obtaining the required regulatory approvals.”

Thousands of organizations across the country provide health care services in patient homes, which means no one provider has more than a single-digit percentage share, UnitedHealth said in a news release.

“Optum is confident it can secure approval for the combination,” the company said in a statement. “Even with the numerous providers, demand for in-home care far exceeds available supply, creating the need for substantial investment in the sector to more fully serve patients.”

UnitedHealth Group said its offer of $100 per share in the all-cash transaction would provide a 26% premium over the most recent closing share price for Amedisys.

In the first quarter, Amedisys posted net service revenue of $556.4 million, according to an earnings release in May.

UnitedHealth Group reported earlier this year first-quarter revenue of about $70.2 billion. It is Minnesota’s largest company by revenue with roughly 400,000 employees worldwide.

Optum includes divisions for patient care, pharmaceutical benefits management and IT/health care consulting. UnitedHealth Group’s health insurance division, UnitedHealthcare, is one of the nation’s largest carriers, providing coverage in the U.S. to about 44 million people.