More mergers and acquisitions point to healthier healthcare market

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Mergers and acquisitions deals volume -- $25.3 billion spent on 230 deals -- in the overall healthcare industry rose 11% in the second quarter of 2004 compared to the year's first quarter, according to a report by Irving Levin Associates. The overall market volume was flat over the year-ago quarter.

While there were 50% more deals in the long-term care sector, at 18, compared with last quarter, the volume is significantly below the 26 deals in the year-ago quarter. 

Stephen M. Monroe, managing editor at New Canaan, CT-based Irving Levin, attributed higher overall activity this quarter to the increased reimbursement that occurred under the Medicare reform law.

"If economic growth remains healthy without overheating, this year may very well end with an estimated 900 deals at a combined price of nearly $150 billion," said Monroe. "A 50 percent growth rate over 2003 would make a convincing demonstration that M&A activity has left the recession behind."