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Health care industry breaks records for mergers in 2018

In past generations, physicians often ran solo practices and house calls were common. Since then, physicians have merged to work together in a private practice or work directly as employees of a hospital or other medical or educational facility.

The health care industry continues to evolve. Researchers may look back and label 2018 the year health care businesses merged. Although mergers were not uncommon in the past, the deals completed last year broke records. Some of the largest transactions include:

  • CVS Health. The pharmacy retail giant completed a successful merger deal with Aetna. The transaction was valued at over $69 billion.
  • Cigna Corporation. One of the largest health insurance corporations in the country acquired a pharmacy benefits manager, PBM Express Scripts, for $67 billion.
  • Bon Secours Health System. The hospital completed its merger with another large facility, Mercy Health of Ohio, resulting in one of the biggest Catholic health systems in the country.

Not every deal involved two health care systems coming together. In some cases, the transaction involved another party that was originally unaffiliated with the health care industry. Deals involving private equity and hedge fund management firms were not uncommon.

Consolidation of physician practices and hospital systems will likely continue throughout 2019. Private practices and businesses that are interested in buying or selling a health care company are wise to take steps to protect their interests during the transaction. An attorney experienced in this niche area of the law can provide legal counsel and better ensure a favorable transaction.