April 2022 M&A activity consisted of several compelling themes:
- Increased Prevalence of AI and NLP to Inform Data Insights: With the increasing demand for healthcare providers to make informed, value-driven decisions, many practitioners have sought out ways to leverage AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Together, AI and NLP can help generate meaningful data from various patient touch-points across the care continuum. Providers often sit on massive troves of unstructured data contained in EHRs and other external data sources that, if leveraged correctly, can drastically improve their quality of care. According to a study performed with Foresee Medical, up to 80% of healthcare documentation is unstructured, and therefore goes unutilized since the mining and extraction of information from that data is resource intensive to do manually. Several recent transactions completed by strategic and financial sponsor acquirers highlight the importance of enabling providers with AI/NLP to streamline their ability to seamlessly extract or input data into their systems.
- Resilience of Staffing Businesses Two Years After the Pandemic: While the long-term impacts to labor driven from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to trend in a positive direction, it has exacerbated the healthcare workforce shortage that is set to persist for the foreseeable future. This shortage is further underlined by an aging healthcare workforce. According to the US Census Bureau, one-third of all active doctors will reach retirement age in the next decade, which is problematic given this population is the most experienced to train future healthcare professionals. These industry headwinds lead to increased levels of stress among healthcare professionals, which in turn creates fast burnout and high turnover. Subsequently, the demand for contracted staff to fill temporary gaps has increased significantly in order to cope with this hurdle, and as a result, the staffing industry continues to see high levels of M&A activity. TripleTree has seen an abundance of recent transaction activity in this space by strategic acquirers and financial sponsors alike, and this trend is expected to continue as industry participants work to meet this high level of unmet demand.
- Trends in Home and Elder Care: With the Baby Boomer generation continuing to age and reach retirement, the demand for elder care is consistently on the rise. With this demand comes an increased need for technology-enabled and in-home care that can cater to the mental and physical wellness needs of this population. On this topic, more than one-third of adults aged over 45 are struggling with a lack of social interaction, and that percentage only increases with age, according to CareAcademy. Increased access for remote patient monitoring and social interaction programs, in addition to the market acceptance of home as a viable clinical setting for care, enables these individuals to combat loneliness and receive the care they need in a convenient setting, while providing greater levels of independence and care as they transition from their prior lifestyles. A series of recent transactions accentuate the application of technology-enabled care and demand for in-home personal care, and market activity suggests that these trends are front-of-mind for investors.
Several transactions in April aligned with these key themes:
- WELL Health Technologies, a health technology company, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary WELL Ventures has made a significant minority investment in Tali.ai, an AI-powered virtual assistant. These acquisitions will expand WELL’s technological capabilities.
- Omega Healthcare, a technology-enabled healthcare management solutions provider, announced its acquisition of ApexonHealth, an AI and automation-based revenue cycle management and payor solutions provider, and Vasta Global, a provider of real-world data abstraction and analytics for the oncology market. These acquisitions will expand Omega’s technological capabilities.
- Well Dot, a provider of artificial intelligence-based consumer health engagement platform and mobile application, closed $71.9M in Series B funding led by Valeas Capital Partners and included participation from returning investor General Catalyst Group, partners of Hellman & Friedman, and new investor group of 12 CEOs and senior managing partners at private equity firms. The company will use the proceeds to scale its operations, expand its digital health improvement platform, and expand employer, direct-to-consumer, and community-based health channels.
- Epic Staffing Group, a provider of outsourced employment to the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries announced along with The Pritzker Organization that affiliates of TPO have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Epic Staffing Group in an all-cash transaction.
- FleetNurse, a premier mobile application and platform for on-demand healthcare staffing, announced a new investment from HCAP Partners, which will allow the company to accelerate growth in new and existing markets and bring enhanced functionality to its platform.
- Advocate Aurora Enterprises announced its acquisition of MobileHelp, a provider of remote patient monitoring capabilities and personal emergency response systems. TripleTree served as exclusive financial advisor to Advocate Aurora Enterprises.
- Help at Home, a provider of in-home, person-centered care, announced that the company has acquired two New York-based home care organizations: Edison Home Health Care and Preferred Home Care of New York. Both organizations provide a variety of home and community-based services, primarily focused on in-home personal care. This acquisition will expand Help at Home’s footprint across New York and Pennsylvania markets.
- Amedisys, a provider of home health, hospice, personal care, and high-acuity care, has closed on its acquisition of Evolution Health, a provider of home health services. Evolution Health, a division of Envision Healthcare, is doing business as Guardian Healthcare, Gem City, and Care Connection of Cincinnati in 15 locations across Texas, Oklahoma, and Ohio. Amedisys has acquired 100 percent of the ownership interests in Evolution Health.
TripleTree continuously monitors the market to identify the forces and themes impacting the healthcare industry. Thanks for reading and, as always, let us know what you think!