Home health care company Univita shifting headquarters from Minnesota to Florida

Home health care company Univita shifting headquarters from Minnesota to Florida
Photo via Businesswire

Minnesota-based home health care management provider Univita Health is moving its headquarters in Eden Prairie to a new home in Florida.

The move, which was first reported by the South Florida Business Journal, comes only a few weeks after the Fridley-based medical device giant Medtronic announcing that it was shifting its headquarters overseas, to Ireland, as part of its purchase of Covidien.

See also: Medical biz prof Stephen Parente on Medtronic move: 'It's kinda hard to see this occur.'

Univita has 1,300 employees across the country, with about 250 in Minnesota and nearly 1,100 in Florida.

The shift in headquarters comes only a month after Univita announced a new CEO, Michael Muchnicki, who's worked in Florida for a number of health care companies. In an interview, Muchnicki said it was that hiring that largely brought about the change, with it making more sense to simply move the headquarters to Florida.

In the South Florida Business Journal piece, Muchnicki also attributed that Florida focus to the state's growth in Medicaid HMO's and Medicare Advantage, two plans Univita specializes in .

Stephen Parente, the director of the University of Minnesota's Medical Industry Leadership Institute, said there could be more to it than that. He said that in addition to the factors named, Minnesota's tax burden could have partly factored into the move.

"We know that Minnesota doesn't necessarily have the best tax environment compared to other places" like Texas or Florida, Parente said. "So that could be the case."

However, Parente was quick to point out that taxes may have only played one part, with other reasons, like the growth of Medicare Advantage, also playing a role.

Muchnicki said that despite the move, Univita still sees Minnesota as being a vital part of its future, with no plans to cut any jobs in the state.

"The services that we provide in Minnesota are a part of the growth in Florida, too, because they provide backup services too. Call centers, nurses, telephonic care," Muchnick said. "So they're just a part of the company that's still significant."

Send your story tips to the author, Robbie Feinberg. Follow him on Twitter @robbiefeinberg.

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