A Rockville, Md., health-care company is seeking government approval to buy a Baltimore thrift.

United Payers and United Providers Inc. struck a deal in October to buy Quantum Financial Holdings Inc., parent of $40 million-asset Baltimore American Savings Bank.

According to its application to the Office of Thrift Supervision, United Payers plans to invest $5 million in the thrift. United Payers offers discount health-care services nationwide through a network of 2,800 hospitals. The publicly traded company processes more than $1.8 billion in annual medical payments.

United Payers plans to continue to operate Baltimore American as a full- service savings bank and eventually specialize in lending to hospitals and other medical providers, said Douglas P. Faucette, a partner with Muldoon, Murphy & Faucette in Washington representing United.

United Payers is the 37th nonbanking company and the first health-care administrator to apply this year for permission to operate a thrift.

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