Healthcare mergers and acquisitions during the first quarter of this year sank to their lowest levels since 1995.
The number of deals slid 39% from the first quarter of 1998, according to data released last week by Irving Levin Associates, New Canaan, Conn.
Total transactions dropped to 193 from 319 and also decreased in eight of the 10 industry sectors the company tracked.
One exception was in managed care, with HMO mergers and acquisitions rising to 18 from 11. The other exception was in the psychiatric sector: Mergers and acquisitions involving mental health providers inched up to 13 from 12.
Stephen Monroe, a partner at Irving Levin, attributed the overall decline to the changing healthcare landscape.
For-profit hospital companies are taking a back seat to not-for-profit organizations when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, and deals have changed from straight acquisitions to looser affiliations, he wrote in a report on the results.
Physician deals dropped by more than half, to 38, in the first quarter from 83 in the year-ago quarter, and hospital mergers and acquisitions dropped to 23 from 33 during the same period.