Healthcare M&A activity slows down

In keeping with the movement toward coordinated care and consolidation among healthcare organizations comes a report that the healthcare industry saw 217 merger and acquisition deals worth $58.4 billion during the third quarter of 2011, according to tracking firm Irving Levin Associates.

While not as impressive as this year's record breaking second quarter, third quarter M&A activity accounted for 31 percent of the 704 healthcare deals in the first nine months of 2011 and 31 percent of the $185.6 billion that funded them, notes the report.

However, this quarter's M&A activity veered from the typical healthcare trends. Unlike most quarters, healthcare services saw the most transactions, posting 51 percent of the quarter's total deal volume with 111 deals. Healthcare technology came in at a close second, posting 49 percent with 106 deals. "This result departs from the long-familiar pattern of health care technology sectors dominating deal volume," the Connecticut-based company said in a press release.

The report also indicates confidence that deal-making among healthcare organizations will accelerate and approach second quarter levels.

With hospital consolidation as a survival tool for community hospitals, we may see that M&A gap close sooner rather than later.

For more:
- here's the press release