Number of States with High Obesity Rate Nearly Doubles since 2018: CDC

The number of states with an obesity rate of at least 35 percent has nearly doubled in two years, with continuing racial and ethnic disparities, according to research released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sixteen states reported last year that at least 35 percent of their adult residents are obese, an increase from the 12 considered to have high obesity prevalence in 2019 and nine in 2018, CDC analysis released on Wednesday said. Every state documented more than 20 percent of its adult population as having obesity, with the Midwest and the South seeing the highest rates at 34.1 percent compared to the West and Northeast.

FTC Moves Toward Stricter Antitrust Scrutiny of Vertical Mergers

A divided Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday withdrew guidelines adopted just last year on how the government reviews so-called vertical mergers of companies that don’t directly compete with one another, the latest signal the agency is looking to escalate antitrust scrutiny of deal making. FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, during a virtual public meeting, said she was concerned that the recent Trump-era guidelines gave too much credit to business efficiencies and other potential upsides of vertical mergers while not fully recognizing the harms that some of those deals could create in the marketplace.

Unlocking Value in Large-Deal Healthcare M&A: How to Achieve Transformation during Integration

In this article, McKinsey focuses on “transformative integrations”—an approach that can help healthcare organizations beat the odds when it comes to value creation in large deals. This approach combines the traditional elements of integration with principles from transformation. Importantly, this approach also brings unique challenges and may not be well-suited to all transactions. Yet when executed well, transformative integrations can empower organizations to achieve bigger and broader impact more quickly and sustain these changes to achieve greater long-term value creation, benefiting these organizations and the communities they serve.

Rapid Evolution of Health Care, and Nearly-Unlimited Capital Will Drive Dealmaking for Years to Come

Health care private equity firms, payers and providers are doubling down on mergers and acquisitions as the pandemic reshapes the health care ecosystem. Expectations for the future of health care are changing, which is forcing many organizations to rethink their strategies and balance sheets. Meanwhile, investor appetite for health care companies has never been higher. This confluence of factors will sustain deal activity for some time. Much of the future activity will be driven by digital health and health care “light” sectors.

Mapping Healthcare Deserts: 80% of the Country Lacks Adequate Access to Healthcare

Access to healthcare can be defined as having an adequate supply of services to help people maintain or improve their health. These services span many dimensions of healthcare, including medications, primary care providers, hospitals, emergency services, and community health centers. Access is also affected by socioeconomic factors like affordability, internet access, and health literacy. In an ideal world, everyone would have equal access to necessary health services, and the means to gain access to these services. But this just isn’t the case.

Top Ten Investment Trends and Opportunities in the European Healthcare Market

As the world enters a phase of the global pandemic marked by an increasing rate of vaccinations, investors are looking for global (particularly, European) healthcare market opportunities. With the emergence of certain investment trends, this article takes a look at what McDermott Will & Emery has identified as the top ten, which have the potential to drive and shape the healthcare market over the short- and medium-term.

HHS Releases $25.5B in Provider Relief Funds, Promises Increased Audits Around M&A Activity

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday that it is releasing another $25.5 billion under the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). As part of the newly announced Phase 4 PRF round, HHS and its Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are releasing $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan resources for providers that serve rural patients under the Medicare, Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs. The government is additionally releasing $17 billion “for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.” Along with its plan to release $25.5 billion, HHS also went out of its way to say COVID-19 relief funds should not be used for M&A activity.

Hospitals, Other Health Care Players Are Seeing ‘the Bar of Scrutiny’ Raised by Biden Regulators

When President Joe Biden tapped vocal critics of big tech companies for key antitrust roles, companies like Amazon.com Inc. went on high alert. But he’s pledged to crack down on anticompetitive behavior across sectors — including “unchecked mergers” in health care, and former officials and industry watchers say hospitals and other groups should tread carefully. Officials like Lina Khan, who was sworn in as chair of the Federal Trade Commission in June, and Tim Wu of the White House’s National Economic Council, haven’t gone public with how they plan to tackle health care consolidation. But early action from the administration points to hospital price transparency and heightened merger scrutiny as top priorities.

What the Data Tells Us: The Pandemic’s Impact on Acute and Post-Acute Care

WellSky recently hosted a webinar with Tom Martin, director of post-acute care analytics at CarePort and Teresa Remy, director of clinical services at LeaderStat. Highlighting CarePort data, Tom reviewed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the acute and post-acute settings – including inpatient volumes, post-acute referral patterns, and patient profiles at the post-acute level of care.

Healthcare Bankruptcy Filings Hit ‘Unprecedented’ Low

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many predicted a crush of healthcare bankruptcies would follow. So far, the opposite has happened. Billions of dollars in federal, state and local aid that’s flowed to healthcare providers has led to what the law firm Polsinelli calls an “unprecedented” drop in Chapter 11 filings in an industry that’s typically among the most distressed. In fact, Polsinelli’s second quarter report shows the lowest ever recorded distress index in the healthcare industry since 2010.