M&A notebook: Providers and platforms make big moves


Mergers and acquisitions in healthcare remain strong as providers seek to meet cost and quality goals to meet the demands of value-based reimbursements while health IT companies pursue increased market share or partnerships that scale innovation, said to David Chou, a technology leader with deep integration experience in the healthcare space, earlier this year.

His predictions about some of the top healthcare M&A trends for 2023 are holding true as the second quarter continues.

More health systems consolidating nationwide

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals announced this past week that it will acquire Danville, Pennsylvania-based Geisinger, including its 10 hospital campuses, health plan and academic research portfolio to create a national non-profit healthcare system to be called Risant Health – a new organization that aims to expand access to value-based care in diverse, multi-payer, multi-provider, community-based health system environments.

“Geisinger will be able to accelerate our vision and continue to invest in new and existing capabilities and facilities, while charting a path for the future of American health care, through Risant Health,” said Dr. Jaewon Ryu, president and CEO of Geisinger Health, said in Wednesday’s announcement. 

Ryu will serve as CEO of Risant Health when the merger is approved.

In New Jersey, meanwhile, Cooper University Health Care and Cape Regional Health System have also recently signed a definitive agreement to merge resources. 

While neither has reported financial distress, many U.S. hospital systems are still facing losses and slim margins on their operating expenses and are looking to consolidate rather than close. 

“We are returning towards pre-COVID-19 financials, and the organizations struggling before the pandemic are in the same predicament now,” Chou wrote for Healthcare IT News in February. 

“We will see consolidation among distressed hospitals in 2023.”

Froedtert Health and ThedaCare in Wisconsin are also merging and hope to unify quickly and launch as an 18-hospital system before the close of the year. Read HITN Managing Editor Bill Siwicki’s recent Froedtert-focused case study here.

In October, Froedtert Health president and CEO Cathy Jacobson told the Milwaukee Business Journal the health system had adequate reserves to pay cash for its $55 million-plus share of new facilities, and had no plans to merge with its joint venture partner ThedaCare. 

The following month, the Journal reported that Froedtert Health posted a loss of $43.5 million in the third quarter of 2022 – not unlike other healthcare systems in metropolitan Milwaukee and nationwide.

eVisit purchases Bluestream Health’s telehealth 

eVisit announced it has acquired Bluestream Health to add digital front doors and other tools to its telemedicine platform. 

“eVisit and Bluestream share a common ethos of empowering complex healthcare delivery organizations in their journey to transform care with a digital-first approach,” Sachin Agrawal, CEO of eVisit, said in an announcement. 

“Bluestream accelerates the execution of eVisit’s strategic value to the organizations we serve.”

Miles Romney, eVisit’s co-founder and chief technology officer, previously painted a vivid picture of what care will look like 30 years from now as telemedicine evolves for Healthcare IT News. In his view, the coming evolution combines artificial intelligence, wearable devices, medicine delivered remotely and more – starting from when an individual steps into the shower:

“You hear the hum of a full-body MRI scan, and feel the soft nipping of a half-dozen instruments collecting samples and cataloging vitals. Results are analyzed in real time by AI and sent to your care team for validation. A transdermal infuser pushes a cocktail into your blood: vitamins, relaxants, pain killers, beta blockers, anxiolytics, TNF inhibitors, even stimulants (your coffee is decaf). All synthesized in response to your current blood chemistry, and carefully balanced against one another” he said.

Verisma and ScanSTAT merge

With automation, patient experience tools and expanded compliance management services, the combined Verisma aims to deliver a simplified, customizable release of information platform for healthcare.

Verisma HITRUST certified technology integrates with existing electronic health records and ScanSTAT offers HIPAA-compliant partnerships with many EHR systems.

By combining, the companies plan to scale investments in people, technology and services, according to a recent announcement.

“The technology and service experts coming together is a response to a very real demand we see from HIM departments,” Marty McKenna, Verisma CEO, said in the statement.

“Increasingly, scale and sophistication are essential to ensure we evolve with the market and create more efficient ways to protect our clients and their patients, ” he added, calling ScanSTAT’s experience and white-glove health information management services a natural complement.

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

Source: Read Full Article