Antitrust Regulators Aim to Revamp Merger Guidelines, Signaling Threat to Health Sector Deals

Antitrust regulators said Tuesday they are looking to modernize merger guidelines in an effort to crack down on tie-ups amid a flood of merger filings that has more than doubled in the past year. Leaders of the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are launching a review of the current guidelines that are used to detect and analyze potentially unlawful mergers. Those policing guidelines have not been updated in 12 years, potentially excluding realities of a modern economy, leaders said.

Healthcare M&A Volume Soared to Historic Heights in Q4:2021

Health care merger and acquisition activity soared in the fourth quarter of 2021, hitting a record 733 deals, according to new acquisition data from LevinPro HC. Activity in the fourth quarter was 22% higher than the third quarter when 601 transactions were announced; it’s a sharp increase of 42% compared with Q4:20 when only 517 deals were announced. Activity in sectors such as Physician Medical Groups and Long-Term Care drove much of the volume, with 138 and 122 deals, respectively, but there was a notable 40% jump in activity in the Other Services sector. Demand for healthcare real estate, such as medical office buildings and properties, helped drive the increase especially. Activity in the Home Health & Hospice and Behavioral Health Care sectors remained stable thanks to tailwinds in each market.

What’s on the Horizon for Healthcare Consumerism?

The future of healthcare consumerism will be defined by an investment in the digital, with organizations increasingly recognizing the importance of having an online presence and health IT that support patient care journeys. Long heralded as the future of the medical industry, healthcare consumerism has now grown into more than just a buzzword. Below, PatientEngagementHIT outline how key industry stakeholders see the future of healthcare consumerism and the way health IT investments will support that vision.

Physician Medical Group Mergers & Acquisitions Surged in Q4:2021

The physician medical group M&A market soared in the fourth and final quarter of 2021, with 137 publicly announced transactions, compared with 96 acquisitions in the third quarter of 2021, based on new acquisition data from LevinPro HC. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, which only saw 62 deals, this quarter was exceptionally busy for the Physician Medical Group sector, based on data from the LevinPro HC Database. Although the ophthalmology/optometry subsector had the most activity this quarter, with a combined total of 29 deals, private equity investors were primarily focused on dental groups and practices.

2022 Health Policy Outlook

The US healthcare system is entering the third year of a public health emergency due to COVID-19, and the challenges and enduring pressures of the pandemic will require Congress and the Administration to consider new response strategies. But other health policy priorities also will garner attention. Here, McDermott+Consulting examines the health policy priorities and key initiatives likely to dominate the agenda in 2022.

The Unexpected Ways Regulatory Changes Can Impact Outpatient Shifts

The Advisory Board conducted a quantitative analysis to understand how procedures are shifting out of the inpatient setting. Overall, it found that volumes for most procedures shift to the outpatient setting slowly—but the data shows the unexpected ways that regulatory change can impact this shift.

2022 Forecast: Competition in Retail Healthcare Will Heat Up. Here’s What to Expect from Amazon, CVS and Walgreens

The biggest U.S. retailers are placing huge bets on healthcare. As patients increasingly demand lower costs and convenient care delivery, retailers like Walmart, Amazon, CVS and Walgreens have stepped in to meet their needs where traditional providers lack the resources to do the same. All four companies have accelerated their investments in healthcare this year, stepping into new areas from primary care to telehealth. And the retail healthcare boom isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Next year, industry experts anticipate that retailers will ramp up their investments in key technologies and tackle issues like social determinants of health and data sharing to provide personalized healthcare experiences to their customers.

Some of the Biggest Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions of 2021

2021 already broke the record for healthtech funding, and it’s already the second largest M&A year ever as well. This is an exciting time to be in the healthtech space, for both new and established companies. Here are some of the biggest healthcare mergers and acquisitions of 2021.

Vertical Integration Oversight to Ramp Up

President Joe Biden’s pledge to crack down on anticompetitive consolidation has set the stage for stricter oversight of vertical integration across the healthcare industry. The Biden administration has vowed to stop proposed mergers that would stunt competition, in part, by increasing the Federal Trade Commission’s and the Justice Department’s budgets, adjusting the standards for permissible mergers, barring the use of non-compete clauses and bolstering retrospective merger analyses. Breaking up the healthcare conglomerates and limiting proposed anticompetitive vertical mergers will be a key part of regulators’ oversight strategy, merger and acquisition experts said.

Investor Appetite for Health Deals ‘Insatiable’ as Omicron Looms

Health-care dealmaking kept up a brisk pace in November, setting up what could be a blockbuster December and a record-breaking year, attorneys and analysts say. The number of deals announced and closed in November reached 236, up from 223 in October and 213 in September, said Gary Herschman of Epstein, Becker & Green in Newark. “Due to the volume of deals planning to close by year end, we expect that December activity will more than double November’s activity,” Herschman said. Life sciences and pharmaceuticals again led all sectors with 48 deals, followed by physician services and practices (31), health-care information technology and software (30), medical devices (29), cannabis (24), behavioral health (13), and home health (10).