Medical group consolidations soared in 1996, recently released data show.
Physician medical groups reported completing 242 mergers and acquisitions in 1996, up 92% over the previous year's 126, according to a study by healthcare financial investment firm Irving Levin Associates.
The deals involved 19,950 physicians in 295 practices, physician practice management companies, independent practice associations and management services organizations, according to Irving Levin. In 1995, 8,770 physicians were transferred in acquisitions.
New Canaan, Conn.-based Irving Levin counted only deals that were reported publicly through Securities and Exchange Commission filings, press reports and other management disclosures.
Physician medical groups reported prices for only 150 of the 242 disclosed deals. Those acquisitions totaled $4.5 billion, with $2.5 billion of that coming from MedPartners/Mullikin's purchase of Caremark International, according to Irving Levin.
The MedPartners transaction was the second-largest healthcare acquisition of 1996, according to a survey by Los Angeles investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin. Data from Houlihan Lokey indicate the largest healthcare deal in 1996 was the $4.4 billion acquisition of W.R. Grace & Co.'s National Medicare Care unit by Fresenius.