David Joslin’s Overview of the Top Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions in the 1st Half of 2019

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In his current role as a healthcare consultant, David Kent Joslin advises companies in developing a competitive strategy, identifying growth, and pursuing value-additive mergers and acquisitions. David Joslin describes growth in M&A activity over the last several years as being strong across all transaction sizes increasing by 14.4 percent from 2017 into 2018 with continued momentum into 2019.

In this article he has identified several trends driving M&A activity in the first half of 2019 and provides several indicative transactions:

Clinical / Patient Data Management: As the fee-for-service model continues to erode, data is becoming increasingly important in the delivery and monitoring of clinical care pathways for patients. From a corporate perspective, technologies that exploit big data analytics can drive improvements in operating efficiencies, investment decisions, personnel management, and regulatory compliance. Important recent acquisitions include:

  • Beacon Health Options, a premier provider of behavioral health solutions to health plans, employers and labor organizations of all sizes
  • Equian, a payments processing services provider for healthcare companies and insurers
  • Press Ganey, a provider of safety, quality, patient experience, and workforce engagement solutions for healthcare organizations
  • Vyne, a leader in secure health information exchange and electronic healthcare communication management for dental practices, hospitals, and major health systems
  • Accumen, a tech-enabled provider of health system performance optimization solutions
  • PatientsLikeMe, the world’s largest personalized health network that helps patients discover new treatment options

Prescription Drug Pricing and Medication Adherence: There has also been particular interest in bringing technology to the pharmacy piece of the healthcare continuum in terms of pricing, medication dose adherence, and transparency. Important recent acquisitions include:

  • RX-Net, an automated, single interface, multi-location prescription price management for retail pharmacies
  • Echo, a U.K.-based medication management company that enables patients to receive medication refill alerts in conjunction with at-home delivery
  • Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, which addresses the challenges faced by hospitals and health systems in the form of drug cost inflation and retail/specialty pharmacy strategy and operations

Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) and Payment Solutions. Healthcare services providers are increasingly dependent upon third-party technology providers to facilitate operational efficiencies and overcome pressing financial and operational hurdles. Challenges to a provider’s goal of maintaining market competitive advantage have come in the form of regulatory change, greater patient choice, and sophistication, shifting payment models. Important recent acquisitions include:

  • McBee, a leading technology-enabled revenue cycle management, strategic consulting and other professional services firm that serves providers in acute and post-acute care settings
  • Ensemble, which markets an outsourced, hospital-focused revenue cycle management platform
  • InstaMed, a leading healthcare technology company that has developed a paperless healthcare payments solution with particular focus on improving the consumer financial experience and reducing the cost of collecting payments

Remote Patient Monitoring. Healthcare providers recognize the importance of maintaining the continuity of longer-term multi-dimensional care for patients with chronic conditions who are between doctor’s office visits. Such technologies improve outcomes, reduce healthcare spend, and improve patient quality. Important recent acquisitions include:

  • Critical Signal Technologies, a leading provider of remote real-time patient monitoring and care services in conjunction with an emergency response capability
  • Tueo Health, a patient monitoring solution that monitors nighttime sleep breathing of children with asthma

Home Health / Hospice. Closely associated with developments in remote patient monitoring (noted above) is the increasing reliance by providers on the provision of care in the home to aging patients with high-cost, medically complex ailments. Payors have welcomed this development since in many cases the quality of care can be improved alongside a dramatic reduction of cost. Important recent acquisitions include:

  • AccentCare, a Dallas-based provider of post-acute services in rehabilitative therapy and hospice with a presence in 16 states
  • Forever Young Home Care, a provider of companionship, homemaking duties, transportation, meal preparation, medication reminders and full personal care throughout NC and GA
  • Alacare Home Health & Hospice, an operator of home health and hospice with 23 locations in Alabama
  • Mission Healthcare, a home health and hospice services provider for its California patients

Healthcare Staffing Solutions. Growing patient demand and increasing complexity of healthcare treatment pathways have created an urgent need for service providers to maintain and/or have ready access to excess capacity in terms of service offering breadth and depth. The lack of such capacity results in sub-optimal care treatment and diminished patient satisfaction. Important recent acquisitions include:

  • Symmetry Healthcare Solutions, a platform that aggregates 100+ qualified healthcare staffing agencies including travel nurse, locums, and just-in-time local staff
  • CV Staff Solutions, which focuses on cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, and non-physician providers for inpatient care facilities

David Kent Joslin currently lives in Sarasota, Fl, with his family. When not working, David Joslin enjoys golfing, cycling, and staying on top of current trends.