M&A deals are down; Also, is the ‘pandemic phase’ over?

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War in Ukraine, supply chain problems and labor costs, and rising interest rates are putting downward pressure on healthcare turnover, according to KPMG’s first-quarter healthcare M&A report. While 2021 was about stratospheric valuations, the consultancy expects a drop back to earth as investors exercise more caution with longer due diligence processes. There were 427 M&A transactions in the first quarter, which marked a 34% drop in healthcare turnover compared to the same period last year. “The exceptional valuations achieved by some sellers in 2021 have raised the expectations of many traders today, but their dreams of liquidity may wane as newly cautious suitors pull away in 2022,” the report notes.

There has been a sharp decline in private equity activity, with half of deals completed in the last quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of this year. While the appetite of PE for hospitals, healthcare systems and physicians’ offices has declined, there has been a 4% increase in business involving IT and healthcare analytics. The biggest M&A deal of the quarter was the approximately $4.1 billion offering of hospital revenue cycle management firm R1 RCM for Cloudmed as hospitals struggling financially from the Covid-19 pandemic look for more. ways to collect unpaid or underpaid bills.

So, what’s ahead? KPMG suggests we can expect more partnerships, joint operating agreements and joint ventures, “in part because they can create value more quickly than acquisitions.” In addition, there will be some sales of non-core assets and underperforming products.

With $35 million in funding, Waltz Health aims to lower drug prices by working with – not against – the system

After a 30-year career as an executive at some of the country’s largest pharmaceutical benefit administrators – the middlemen who help set drug prices between manufacturers and insurers – Mark Thierer is ready for his next act: helping customers find lower prices. The former CEO of OptumRx and his son Jonathon Thierer, 28, founded Chicago-based Waltz Health in early 2021. Pricing data from pharmacies, insurers, pharmaceutical benefits managers, and discount card marketing companies. Your first product is a market research tool powered by this data engine that will show the patient the lowest price in the store they are in, whether they are paying cash or using their health benefits. Read more here.


Deals of the week

Bridging the clinical trial diversity gap: Boston-based Reify Health, which helps connect patients and pharmaceutical companies in clinical trials, announced that it has raised a $220 million Series D round that values ​​the company at more than $4.8 billion. The round, which was co-led by Altimeter Capital and Coatue, will aim to accelerate the company’s plans to diversify the pool of clinical trial participants.

The Next Generation Call Center: Healthcare artificial intelligence startup Syllable, which has developed an automated assistant to talk, text and chat with patients, has raised a $40 million Series C funding round led by growth capital firm TCV with participation from Oak HC/FT, Section32 and Verily.

Escalating Behavioral Health: Concert Health, a medical group and technology platform that helps integrate behavioral health into primary care and women’s health practices, has raised $42 million from Series B led by Define Ventures and includes participation from strategic investors CommonSpirit Health and Advent Health. More than half of the 27,000 patients seen to date are in the government’s Medicaid and Medicare health insurance program and the capital will expand into Arkansas, Massachusetts and Washington.


Remarkable

health software company NexHealth reaches a valuation of $1 billion after a Series C funding round of $125 million.

artificial intelligence startup biofourmis is also a unicorn as it seeks to expand its digital therapy and home care programs with $300 million in Series D funding.

At least 169 children in 12 countries developed severe hepatitis in an unexplained outbreak that researchers believe may be linked to a virus that often causes mild cold symptoms.

health insurance of the Human earnings reached $930 million in the first quarter, reporting better-than-expected results in a competitive environment for its Medicare Advantage business. hundred reported nearly $850 million in first-quarter profit, with an increase of 1.9 million members, thanks to an increase in enrollment in Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare plans.

coronavirus updates

Da. Anthony Fauci said PBS news time yesterday that the United States is “out of the pandemic phase” when it comes to Covid. He backed up the claim by noting that hospitalizations, infections and deaths are at fairly low levels, although he adds that for much of the rest of the world, the pandemic is still ongoing. Of course, that doesn’t mean Covid is no longer a concern. Fauci told the Washington Post today that “we are really in a transitional phase, from a slowdown in numbers to, hopefully, a more controlled phase and endemicity”.

This largely tracks what many public health experts have said. Forbes last month – that Covid years 3 and 4 will be different from the first two years. This is not to say that Covid will go away – cases, hospitalizations and deaths have increased in the last two weeks – but that it will likely remain at a lower level, with seasonal and regional outbreaks of infections that may require more locations. interventions.

What this characterization of where we are with Covid misses, however, is the lingering impacts of the disease. Potentially, up to 20% of the population that gets Covid will experience long-term symptoms that last for months and possibly years. Scientists are still figuring out exactly what causes the long-term Covid, and treatments for people may be even further away. “Until we learn more about how to prevent and treat Covid-19, we can anticipate a huge burden on the healthcare system in the near future,” said Amanda Castel, professor of epidemiology at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Forbes last month.


Pfizer asks FDA to authorize Covid Booster for 5-11 year olds

Pfizer and BioNTech have applied for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a booster dose of their Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, in the latest effort to extend protection to younger children, who run faster. risk of hospitalization by the omicron variant. Read more here.

Other coronavirus news

The White House announced a series of initiatives aimed at increasing the use of Antiviral Medicines for Covidthat are not being widely used despite being readily available.

authorities in Beijing ordered nearly 20 million of its residents to undergo mass Covid-19 testing from Tuesday as they try to clamp down on the rapid spread of the coronavirus to avoid a city-wide lockdown similar to the controversial one implemented in Shanghai.

More than half of all americans— including about 75% of children — had evidence of a previous coronavirus infection in their bloodstream after the omicron variant spread across the country, according to the CDC.

antibodies produced by Covid-19 vaccines and booster shots may be less effective at defending against the omicron variant than earlier coronavirus strains, new research suggests.

Top Trump administration officials— and potentially the president himself — stepped in to help a struggling trucking company receive a $700 million Covid-19 pandemic loan after Defense Department officials recommended against it.

through Forbes

Dry weather forecast calls for higher food prices and billions in farm losses

How TikTok Live became ‘a strip club full of 15 year olds’

Elon Musk’s ‘Free Speech’ Idea Could Destroy Twitter’s Vital Ads Business

What else are we reading

COVID is spreading in deer. What does this mean for the pandemic? (Nature)

Lack of Covid tests leaves researchers blind to patterns of evolution, warns WHO (The Guardian)

The Doctor Who’s Trying to Bring Back Surprise Billing (STAT)

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