Physician practice M&As already outpace 2010 levels

Hospitals involved in a majority of the deals, report finds

More physician practices were involved in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) through the third quarter of 2011 than in all of 2010, a recent industry report found.

According to the report—which was conducted by Irving Levin Associates, a firm that monitors health care industry mergers—70 deals were made by the end of Q3 this year, exceeding the 60 reported across all four quarters of 2010. The number of Q3 deals increased almost two-fold when compared with the Q3 tally in 2010.

A majority of the deals involved hospitals purchasing practices, the report said, noting that only large, publicly announced deals were included in the analysis. According to the findings, physician practices were the third-most active segment of health care mergers and acquisitions, following the individual sector of medical devices and long-term care.

An editor of the report noted that health care is one of a few industries that has not experienced a decrease in merger and acquisition activity in 2011. "With an average of $62 billion committed to health care M&A each quarter, and only $19.4 billion needed to equal the $205.3 billion spent in 2010, 2011 is poised to surpass last year's results by about 20%," he said  (Dolan, American Medical News, 11/2).

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