Healthcare Dealmakers—Cigna-Humana merger murmurs; PE's health tech pickups and more

Healthcare mergers and acquisitions are in no short supply as providers, health tech companies, retailers and other industry players look to expand their businesses and gain a competitive edge. Here’s a roundup of new deals that were revealed, closed, rumored or called off during the month of November.


BJC HealthCare and Saint Luke’s Health System announced their $10 billion merger has satisfied “all regulatory reviews” and is targeting a close at the top of the new year. The Missouri nonprofits’ cross-market deal will yield a 28-hospital entity that generates a combined $1 billion in annual community benefits, they said.

Tenet Healthcare cut a deal with Novant Health to offload three South Carolina hospitals and their related operations for about $2.4 billion. The all-cash deal will leave Tenet with after-tax proceeds of about $1.75 billion, funds which Tenet said it anticipates using “primarily for debt retirement.” The organizations are aiming for a first quarter of 2024 close, pending regulatory approvals, clearances and closing conditions.

Novant Health also reportedly completed all the steps to finalize the transfer of the Pender Medical Center, in North Carolina. The hospital has 25 beds with 43 skilled nursing beds, and will be the beneficiary of a $50 million investment over 10 years from its soon-to-be owner.

John Muir Health’s plans to purchase Tenet Healthcare’s majority stake in the jointly-owned San Ramon Regional Medical Center, in California, is being challenged in court by the Federal Trade Commission. The regulator, which coordinated with the California attorney general’s office, said the deal would lead to less competition and higher healthcare costs in the hospital’s market. In a statement, John Muir Health President and CEO Mike Thomas said that his organization is considering its next course of action but will maintain the joint venture structure in the meantime.

Queen’s Health System, in Hawaii, entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire Wahiawa General Hospital. The arrangement is undergoing a 90- to 120-day period of due diligence but targets a March 31, 2024 purchase date. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NYU Langone Health acquired Pediatric Urology Associates in 10 practice locations, a deal that the system said triples its pediatric urology care team. Terms were not disclosed.


Cigna and Humana are reportedly discussing an all-cash merger deal that could be finalized before the end of 2023. The payers’ respective $83 billion and $62 billion market values would be enough to rival major competitors but could warrant antitrust pushback.

Cigna was also reported earlier in the month to be seeking a buyer for its Medicare Advantage business. Further investigations following the Humana news suggest that Health Care Service Corp. could be an interested buyer.


Virgin Pulse, a digital-first health, well-being and navigation company, completed its merger with third-party health benefits administrator HealthComp. The deal creates a new entity valued at $3 billion and aims to drive lower costs as well as improved outcomes for employer customers.

Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm, locked in its $1.8 billion acquisition of ambulatory technology company NextGen Healthcare following an affirmatory vote from the latter’s shareholders. Those shareholders will receive $23.95 per share in cash.

GTCR, a private equity firm, signed a definitive agreement to acquire healthcare language interpretation tech maker Cloudbreak Health from UpHealth for $180 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

Surescripts, a health information network, acquired ActiveRADAR (formerly RxTE Health) to build out therapeutic alternatives for prescription drugs. By incorporating the latter’s therapeutic alternative-identifying solutions weekly into their platform, Surescripts will optimize network solutions to help providers get patients started on the best, most cost-effective medications based on their specific care and payment needs at the point of prescribing, according to company executives. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Aya Healthcare, a digital staffing company, acquired data science-driven recruiting solution Winnow AI to bolster its physician recruitment capabilities. Financial terms of the deal, Aya’s third in five months, were not disclosed.

Viome Life Sciences acquired Naring Health to build out personalized nutrition offerings as part of its at-home diagnostics business. Acquiring the digital health and wellness company will provide Viome with access to clinical and molecular data to fuel its efforts in personalizing health and medicine, according to the company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.