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Washington State Benefits From PacifiCare Deal

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California is not the only state that has used UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s recent acquisition of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. as a fundraising vehicle.

California regulators persuaded UnitedHealth, Minnetonka, Minn., to spend $250 million to improve health care in underserved communities before they approved UnitedHealth’s $9.2 billion bid for PacifiCare, Cypress, Calif.

Another regulator, Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, says he has persuaded UnitedHealth to contribute $2.3 million to the state’s health services account in connection with the company’s acquisition of PacifiCare operations in Washington.

The contribution amounts to an average of about $33 for each of the 70,500 PacifiCare members in Washington.

The state may use the cash to set up an “evidence-based medicine” program for evaluating requests for high-tech medical treatment, officials say.

UnitedHealth is supposed to deposit the $2.3 million contribution by March 9, officials say.