Healthcare Dealmakers—General Catalyst's health system bid; Cigna's Medicare sell-off 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 January.


BJC HealthCare and Saint Luke’s Health System have wrapped a $10 billion merger. The cross-market deal creates an integrated, academic nonprofit system that spans 24 hospitals and other locations across their home state of Missouri and other nearby markets. The arrangement brought Saint Luke’s under BJC’s organizational umbrella, though the two will maintain responsibilities and branding in their original markets.

General Catalyst’s recently launched Health Assurance Transformation Corp. has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Summa Health. The deal would make the system a wholly owned subsidiary of the venture capital firm and end its longtime nonprofit status. General Catalyst has promised tech-fueled investments and other moves to transition the health system toward value-based care, new revenue streams and long-term sustainability. The organizations hope to have a definitive agreement “in the next several months.”

Essentia Health and Marshfield Clinic have scrapped plans to merge and form a 25-hospital system. The Midwest nonprofits had been in “meaningful discussion” for about two years but concluded that the combination was “not the right path” for their organizations. It’s the second time in just over four years Marshfield Clinic Health System was in merger discussions that failed.

Froedtert Health and ThedaCare's cross-market merger went into effect Jan. 1. The Wisconsin nonprofits had received regulatory approval for the $5.5 billion combination in December.

Novant Health’s deal to acquire two North Carolina hospitals from Community Health Systems has drawn the ire of the Federal Trade Commission. The regulator is filing a lawsuit to block the $320 million deal over antitrust concerns. A spokesperson for Novant said the system plans to “pursue available legal responses to the FTC’s flawed position.”

Hudson Regional Hospital and CarePoint Health System, both in New Jersey, have announced plans to merge and form a unique system of both for-profit and nonprofit hospitals. The deal is a financial lifeline for CarePoint and is supported by several elected officials concerned about a potential shutdown.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) has signed a letter of intent to acquire nearby nonprofit Doylestown Health. The pair said their arrangement builds on prior clinical integration between the organizations and will give the former its seventh hospital.

Penn Medicine has also scrapped a plan to acquire Tower Health’s Brandywine Hospital.

Mercy acquired SoutheastHEALTH, a Missouri system with two hospitals. Those facilities and others included in the deal will be rebranded under Mercy’s banner.

Deckerville Community Hospital, Hills and Dales Healthcare and Marlette Regional Hospital, all in the thumb region of Michigan, will come together in a three-way merger to form a new system called Aspire Rural Health System.

University of Missouri Health Care and Capital Region Medical Center have wrapped up an integration and are now joined under the MU Health Care brand. The organizations had been partners for over 25 years.

Mercy Iowa City joined University of Iowa Health Care on Jan. 31. The former had filed for bankruptcy last summer, leading the university to win the hospital at auction.

KU Health and Liberty Hospital’s planned merger caught flak from Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who said the deal would require lawmaker approval.

Intermountain Health is seeking a buyer for Saltzer Health, an 11-location multispecialty group that is at risk of being shut down due to financial issues.


Cigna unveiled a $3.7 billion deal to sell off its Medicare Advantage, Part D, supplemental benefits and CareAllies businesses to Health Care Service Corporation. The parties expect their deal to close in the opening frame of 2025. Additionally, the Blues insurer has entered into a four-year arrangement with Cigna's Evernorth subsidiary, which will continue to provide pharmacy services to the Medicare plans should the sale close.

Cigna’s Evernorth has also sold off seven outpatient imaging centers in Phoenix to RadNet’s Arizona Diagnostic Radiology Group.

Elevance Health announced plans to acquire Paragon Healthcare, which operates over 40 ambulatory infusion centers across eight states. The deal is expected to close before the midpoint of this year and will help the payer offer specialty services to members with chronic and complex illnesses.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina closed its deal to acquire 55 FastMed urgent care clinics operating across 34 of the state’s (often rural) counties. The plan’s officials said they will prioritize addressing staffing challenges and their resulting scaled-back service hours.

Rite Aid received the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey’s blessing to sell its Elixir Solutions Business to independent pharmacy benefit solutions company MedImpact Healthcare Systems. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

Medline, a medical supplies and solutions company, acquired United Medco, a supplemental benefits administrator, to grow its health plans business. The latter serves over 1 million members in the Medicare Advantage, Managed Medicaid and commercial insurance markets with its supplemental benefits platform.  


Cardinal Health announced a $1.2 billion cash deal to acquire Specialty Networks. The healthcare product distributor and data analytics services company said its purchase would support expansion across specialty therapeutic areas, particularly with the addition of Specialty Networks’ subsidiary PPS Analytics platform.

Walgreens is reportedly eying a sale of its specialty pharmacy business Shields Health Solutions. It could be valued at over $4 billion and would likely draw interest from private equity firms as well as healthcare companies.

Innovaccer, which makes digital tools for providers, acquired digital marketing and customer relationship management platform Cured for an undisclosed sum. The move adds more than 20 health systems and first-time digital health clients to Innovaccer’s current portfolio of customers and opens opportunities for tech integrations.

N. Harris Computer Corporation, a vertical market software provider, acquired health IT company MEDHOST for an undisclosed sum. MEDHOST will continue to operate as a standalone business, with its portfolio of application, revenue cycle, IT and security management solutions bolstering Harris’ healthcare business.

98point6 has acquired the assets of telehealth company that remained after the sale of its technology to Evernorth. 

PointClickCare has acquired fellow post-acute care technology company American HealthTech from CPSI for an undisclosed sum. American HealthTech offers EHR products and related services to the post-acute care market. CPSI said it selected PointClickCare to ensure American HealthTech’s customers remain supported.