Deal Volume Dips While Value Soars in First Quarter

Across the country, a historically fragmented hospital market is organizing around a select group of for-profit and not-for-profit systems. And that means competition has increased for fewer acquisition targets that still remain on the market.

In the Front Range urban corridor of Colorado, where most Coloradans live, five health systems dominate the landscape. Only a fraction of hospitals are still independent. Executives there say any further consolidation among the industry giants is likely to encounter heavy scrutiny from antitrust regulators.

Across the country, a historically fragmented hospital market is organizing around a select group of for-profit and not-for-profit systems. And that means competition has increased for fewer acquisition targets that still remain on the market.

“There aren't a lot of independents left,” said Michael Slubowski, president and CEO of the Denver-based Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, which operates 11 hospitals in Colorado, California, Kansas and Montana. The remaining independents aren't necessarily feeling any urgency to find a partner. As an acquirer, he said, “if you're not first to market, you're going to find it hard” to find deals.

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Sourcde: Modern Healthcare