The pace of healthcare mergers soared again in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, according to Irving Levin Associates.
Of the 148 healthcare mergers announced in the third quarter, 23 involved acute-care hospitals, according to the New Canaan, Conn.-based financial services firm (See Year In Review, p. 42).
The level of activity was the highest so far this year. In the second quarter, the firm tracked 125 merger and acquisition announcements in healthcare. There were 123 in the first quarter, the firm reported.
In addition to the hospital deals in the third quarter, there were 26 involving physician medical groups, 20 in home healthcare, 14 in HMOs, 12 in psychiatric services, 11 in rehabilitation services, 11 in laboratories and imaging centers, eight in long-term care and 23 others.
The number of transactions in physician group practices and home healthcare doubled during the previous quarter. "There is little that can stop this momentum," said Stephen M. Monroe, an Irving Levin partner.
The largest chain merger in the quarter was between AmeriHealth, Atlanta, and Champion Healthcare Corp., Houston. That $43 million merger was completed this month.