Gary W. Herschman, Anjana D. Patel, and Zachary Taylor, attorneys in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Newark office, were quoted in Bloomberg Health Law & Business News, in “Health Deals See Torrid Pace with Physician Practices in Front,” by Sara Hansard.

Following is an excerpt:

Health-care and life sciences deal volume started the year at a sizzling pace in January with the most transactions per month—258—in more than a year. …

Hospital Consolidations Pick Up

The volume of hospital consolidations is picking up with 14 deals involving more than 30 facilities, Gary Herschman, a member of Epstein Becker & Green PC’s health-care and life sciences practice in Newark, N.J., said. That includes Essentia Health’s acquisition of 13 critical access hospitals from CommonSpirit Health, and Aspirus’s acquisition of seven hospitals from Ascension. “We expect to see many more hospital consolidations on a consistent basis throughout the rest of this year,” he said. …

Health-care information technology and software had 38 deals in January, “continuing the heavy activity that was seen in 2020 Q4, as the sector provides the health-care workforce with services to innovate in non-traditional settings,” Anjana Patel of Epstein Becker & Green in Newark said.

One notable deal is Optum’s announced acquisition of Change Healthcare for $13.8 billion, Patel said. Change provides data analytics to improve clinical decision-making as well as billing and collection processes, Patel said. The acquisition “will add to Optum’s robust portfolio and strengthen their position as a top health-care analytics company,” she said.

Home care deals demonstrate the expanding demand for the services as more elderly people age in place and avoid institutional care settings due to the impact of Covid-19, Patel said. In January, the sector was dominated by LHC Group, Traditions Health, and Caring People, which accounted for nine of the 14 transactions.

The 13 behavioral health deals reflect “the growing need for mental health services throughout the country, which has been elevated even further by the pandemic,” Zachary Taylor of Epstein Becker & Green in Newark said. Substance abuse treatment providers continue to drive growth in the sector, accounting for more than half of the deal volume in January, he said.

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