Healthcare Dealmakers—Ginger, Headspace's $3B merger; UnitedHealth Group and Change Healthcare's DOJ deal

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Healthcare mergers and acquisitions are in no short supply as providers, payers, health tech companies and other industry players look to expand their businesses and gain a competitive edge. (rawpixel)

Healthcare mergers and acquisitions are in no short supply as providers, health tech companies, payers 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 or called off during the month of August.


Provider

Aspirus Health wrapped up its deal to acquire seven Wisconsin hospitals from Ascension Health. First announced in January, the purchase also includes 21 physician clinics as well as the air and ground transportation services serving northern and central Wisconsin. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hackensack Meridian Health and Englewood Health’s proposed merger was put on pause by a federal judge, who granted the Federal Trade Commission a preliminary injunction Aug. 4. The decision was appealed by the hospitals Aug. 26, although an administrative trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 12.

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) finalized the acquisition of three South Carolina community hospitals, a free-standing emergency department and other affiliated physician practices from LifePoint Health on Aug. 1. These facilities collectively employ more than 2,500 dedicated staff, which MUSC said it planned to retain. The deal reportedly ran the academic system $75 million.

Carbon Health announced the purchase of two separate clinic chains in a bid to expand its national primary care footprint. The first, Southern Arizona Urgent Care, adds nine clinics in Tucson, Arizona, while the smaller Med7 Urgent Care brings four more in Sacramento, California, bringing Carbon’s total to 83 clinics across 12 states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tampa General Hospital and the University of South Florida Health announced a deal to form a 1,400-employee academic medical group. The organization will be created in October and will be called the University of South Florida Tampa General Physicians.

Payer

UnitedHealth Group and Change Healthcare have entered into a timing agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their planned $8 billion megamerger on Aug. 7. Per the agreement, the companies agreed to not "consummate" their merger before 120 days have passed since the two certified their compliance with the agency's request. The exception is if they receive written confirmation from the DOJ that it has completed its investigation in that window.

Humana has wrapped up its previously announced acquisition of Kindred at Home, making the payer the country’s largest provider of home health care services. Kindred will be folded into Humana’s Home Solutions business arm and will adopt the CareWell branding. The payer had already owned a 40% stake in the company and purchased the remaining 60% for $5.7 billion.

GuideWell, the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, announced it will acquire Puerto Rican health services firm Triple-S Management in a deal valued at $900 million. If closed, Triple-S would operate as a subsidiary under its current branding. GuideWell plans to purchase all of Triple-S’ outstanding common stock at $36 per share in cash.

Tech

Inovalon is being acquired by a cadre of institutional investors, stakeholders and founder Keith Dunleavy, M.D., in a deal valuing the company at roughly $7.3 million. The software provider will go private as part of the arrangement, which is expected to close near the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022.

Ginger and Headspace announced merger plans that would place the resulting mental health tech company at a $3 billion valuation. The companies said the deal would yield a combined reach of 100 million customers, including 2,700-plus enterprise and health plan partners, and would allow them to significantly scale access to their virtual offerings.

Amwell closed its previously announced purchase of SilverCloud Health and Coversa Health for a collective $320 million. SilverCloud Health focuses on digital cognitive behavioral health programs and, reportedly, ran Amwell more than $250 million to acquire. Conversa Health offers an AI chatbot for virtual care, although Amwell specifically called out the startup’s proprietary patient profiling and health signal engine as points of interest.

Nanox, a digital X-ray machine maker, has allotted $200 million to purchase AI imaging analysis startup Zebra Medical Vision. Half of that money will be paid upfront to merge the companies’ assets, while the remaining $100 million will be doled out over time after certain milestones are hit. All of the money will be paid out in the form of Nanox shares.

PatientKeeper, a physician workflow software maker owned by hospital chain HCA Healthcare since 2014, is being sold to General Catalyst’s healthcare application platform Commure. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it will see HCA Healthcare become a shareholder in Commure and continue to lean on PatientKeeper’s platform at its hospitals.

Unite Us announced the acquisition of Carrot Health to bolster its social determinants of health software’s ability to identify patients with unmet needs. Unite Us will be integrating Carrot’s team into its existing company structure. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Verily logged its first acquisition with the planned purchase of SignalPath, a clinical trial software platform it hopes will complement the Baseline platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

H1 acquired Carevoyance to extend its healthcare provider profile platform beyond life science customers and into the medical device space. CEO Ariel Katz said the deal ran his company seven figures in cash and stock and will see all six of Carevoyance’s employees join H1.

Clarify Health announced plans to acquire Apervita's value optimization business. Terms of the deal, which include all Apervita's intellectual property and employees, were not disclosed.

Allscripts has sold off its 2bPrecise platform to AccessDX Holdings, which owns a portfolio of laboratory diagnostic solutions. The platform combines genetic data from molecular labs and clinical information collected from EHRs to deliver precision medicine insights during clinical workflow. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

K Health, a virtual primary care platform, has acquired mental health therapy app Trusst. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ConsenSys, a healthcare blockchain company, announced that it has picked up FHIRBlocks to bolster its data-sharing capabilities. ConsenSys plans to integrate FHIRBlocks' technology into its Elevated Compute platform and noted that the acquisition includes the transfer of FHIRBlocks’ intellectual property, key executives, staff, business activities and relationships. Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

Connect America, a digital health company with connected products targeting seniors, will be acquiring remote patient monitoring company 100Plus. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Red Ventures, a digital media brand owner, has purchased Healthgrades.com from its previous owner, which has now changed its name to Mercury Healthcare. The firm plans to pair the online provider search marketplace with other health information brands it owns. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  

The nonprofit health alliance DirectTrust acquired the assets of SAFE Identity, including its trust framework. The acquisition substantially extends DirectTrust’s capabilities and services and is expected to enable new and expanded interoperability use cases. SAFE Identity (SAFE) is an industry consortium and certification body supporting identity assurance and cryptography in healthcare. The organizations did not disclose financial details of the deal.