HCA Healthcare has acquired the largest urgent network in Florida, the for-profit health system announced Tuesday.
The Nashville, Tennessee-based hospital chain closed its purchase of MD Now Urgent Care and its 59 locations last month. Prior to the deal, HCA Healthcare operated 170 urgent care facilities around the U.S.
"The addition of MD Now Urgent Care in Florida enhances our already strong capabilities in a rapidly growing state by providing convenient outpatient care options for our patients," HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen said in a news release. "It also connects MD Now patients to a comprehensive statewide network of care, including acute care and specialty services should they be needed."
The acquisition demonstrates the continued industry shift from hospital care to ambulatory care and the expansion of convenient, lower-cost sites of care, said Jordan Shields, a partner with Juniper Advisory. Providers and payers are beginning to see frontline physician services as the future, she said.
"Hospital merger and acquisition activity in Florida has been brisk over the last few years with major systems like HCA, Steward Health Care System, the Cleveland Clinic and others all seeking to grow their positions in an attractive market with a growing and aging population," Shields said.
From planning the construction of new facilities to its $3 billion investment initiative including $360 million for renovations, equipment and a university hospital, HCA Healthcare has long focused on Florida's lucrative healthcare market.