Your Primer to Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions

Category: Market Trends

Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends
SUD Buyer Study: Key Takeaways for Healthcare Business Owners

The information covered in the following column is derived from two sources. First, VERTESS recently conducted a survey of more than 20 buyers of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers on a variety of topics, including acquisition strategy and market trends. Second, I engaged in extensive discussions with fellow VERTESS team members who collectively are heavily involved in the private capital markets and witness the cycles in the verticals we represent.

My intentions in this column are to articulate broad concepts in current trends and developments within the broader healthcare M+A markets. While I am writing for owners of all healthcare businesses, there is a special emphasis on owners of SUD treatment businesses since the survey conducted was with SUD buyers and SUD is an area in which I specialize. SalientValue also has articles on general recommendations for healthcare business owners and vertical/segment specific articles outside of SUD.

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Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends
Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company: How Will it Affect Retail Pharmacy?

About six months ago, the Cost Plus Drug Company, entrepreneur Mark Cuban's online pharmacy, officially launched. As of late, the pharmacy is receiving significant media attention, including a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine which showed Medicare could have saved nearly $4 billion in 2020 by purchasing generic drugs at the same prices offered by Cost Plus. Cuban took to Twitter to share the results with and tag President Joe Biden and other elected officials.

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Exit Planning, Market Trends
Perspectives on Selling Your Healthcare Business in the Coming 24 Months

In this SalientValue column, I'm going to touch on a number of points I hope healthcare business owners will find helpful as they consider the current position of their companies and plan for their futures. There are warning signs ahead, and having been through the ups and downs of various business cycles, I'd like to highlight some concerns and share some recommendations.

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Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends
When Is It Time for an ASC To Consider a Strategic Partner?

The ambulatory surgery center (ASC) market is changing rapidly. Surviving in the current market is no longer as simple as meeting the needs of the community you serve. Competition among ASCs is now measured through a litmus test of strength based on collateral along with quality standing. These are now the deciding factors that determine winners and losers in the market.

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Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends
How Artificial Intelligence is Reshaping Healthcare: 10 Key Takeaways

The pandemic brought rapid and tremendous disruption to the healthcare industry, forcing the healthcare ecosystem to account for new pressures and challenges. The disruption also compelled many companies to halt or slow their short- and long-term plans and evaluate what they could do better and how they could achieve the improvements needed to support a struggling healthcare system. 

As we transition out of the pandemic or continue to learn how to live with COVID-19, now is the time for healthcare providers and medical device companies to shift from responding to the pandemic to recovering from it. Organizations and companies that understand this evolving demand curve will need to substantially change the way they plan strategically, and that includes incorporating virtual components or expanding their usage of these solutions. What is apparent is that the recovery from the pandemic will be partly — if not heavily — fueled by the development and integration of new technologies, particularly those powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

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Market Trends
Key Considerations for an Acquisitive Healthcare Growth Strategy

Is your healthcare organization thinking about focusing on acquisitive growth? Before you go all-in on the strategy, read on. This column will help you gain a better understanding of the strategy's defining qualities and what is typically required for success.

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Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends
Reflections on Healthcare M&A in 2021 and Expectations for 2022

Every January, as we begin conversations with healthcare business owners who are considering the sale of their companies, we are often asked about the previous year's market and what predictions we can offer for the new year.  2021 offered some continuing challenges due to the ongoing global pandemic, but there was still significant activity in healthcare M&A.  While 2022 is still just days old, VERTESS is keenly aware of developing trends that we believe will continue throughout the year. As each VERTESS team member has a long history in specific healthcare sectors, we are reviewing the previous year for each of those sectors as well as some projections for 2022. 

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Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends
SUD Treatment Industry Trends and Developments

We recently heard of an investor bidding more than 20x forward-EBITDA on a residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment center with a 30-day due diligence period. This caught our attention. More poignant was that this bidder lost the deal to another investor.

It is no new news that SUD treatment providers across multiple segments are currently worth more than they ever have been historically. When Pitchbook released its 2021 Q3 report on the behavioral health vertical, we learned that in only nine months, more deals and more deal value were transacted than the previous best year on record in 2019. Some experts anticipate 2021 to finish at least 40% higher in both metrics than 2019, and SUD treatment — residential treatment, in particular — makes up a substantial portion of that activity, due to extraordinary utilization of benefits and new product designs from insurance carriers that promote mental health reimbursements such as Anthem’s “Behavioral Health Advantage” plan that is expected to launch in 2022.

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Exit Planning, Market Trends
How to Keep COVID-19 From Infecting Your Company's Value

The world of healthcare mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has experienced a significant rollercoaster these past two years, primarily due to the events of COVID-19. Before the pandemic locked down our communities, M&A, particularly in the health and human services space, was experiencing a significant increase in activity. This was caused by several factors. Among them: Existing organizations — or strategic buyers — were witnessing the benefits of growth through acquisition to compete with larger businesses and prepare for managed care, while private equity investors saw this field as one worth investing in. With an excess of cash reserves (i.e., "dry powder"), these private equity investors started spending.

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Exit Planning, Market Trends
Dialing for Dollars: What Sellers Must Know Before Answering the Phone

Does this sound familiar: The phone rings. You answer, and on the other end is someone who tells you that they represent a company eager to purchase your healthcare business.
These kinds of calls are happening every day, with some businesses receiving multiple calls a week. On the surface, these might seem like good calls to receive. After all, if someone is interested in buying your business, you must be running a good operation. And if you've been considering whether it's the right time to sell your business, such a call might be an avenue forward for you.
But seller beware: While it's good to answer the phone and hear what's presented to you, moving ahead on a transaction with a cold caller could be fraught with risk. Let me explain why.

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Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends, Valuation
Retail Pharmacy Update: Opportunities, Challenges, and Valuations

Prior to the pandemic, the retail pharmacy industry was experiencing significant disruption. We were witnessing a steady increase in transactions and consolidation, Amazon's entry into the market, significant changes to strategic alliances between major payers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and the introduction of a wide array of new technologies, just to name a few noteworthy trends and developments. It's safe to say that COVID-19 not only disrupted some of these disruptors, but it also brought with it new disruptors.

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Healthcare Sectors, Market Trends
Nurturing Women Leaders to Strengthen the Human Services Industry

There is a struggle these days to find reliable and competent leadership. In many ways, the human services industry exemplifies the challenge. Despite an abundance of books, speeches, and guides that focus on the creation of good leaders, their absence persists.

This persistence, however, is not a result of our inability to pull good leadership from thin air. Rather, it's about our inability to simply look at the colleagues around us. Good management is cultivated, not found. This isn't a radical claim and is a concept I'm sure many are familiar with. But few, it seems, have managed to successfully cultivate new leaders. A complex reason why this challenge exists within the human services industry: gender disparity, especially for women of color. Human services is an industry that should, above all things, champion equity and equality for its clients/consumers — no question. Yet, if those same principles are not reflected in management, a company may find itself ill-equipped to champion anything. 

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