by Jinghong Chen

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled and accelerated merger and acquisition activity in the health care sector, according to the 2021 HealthLeaders Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships Survey conducted by the HealthLeaders Intelligence Unit. The analysis of 119 completed surveys of executives at health systems, hospitals, physician organizations, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and other provider entities shows that while the pandemic delayed or stalled 49% of respondents’ M&A plans, 90% expect their organizations’ M&A activity to increase or remain the same within the next three years. The top driver of M&A activity is increasing scale to improve negotiations with payers (66%), followed by improving patient care (38%). Meanwhile, data compiled by market research firm Mercom Capital Group shows that digital health M&A set a record in the first half of 2021, with 136 digital health transactions compared to 83 during the same period last year.

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