Day 6 – A Year of Acquisitions and Mergers

number6-red-200On the 6th Day of our 12 Days of Christmas Posts we look at geese a laying. The meaning of the song lyrics vary and you can learn more about the origins on  I like to think that the eggs these geese lay have tremendous value, as they could, of course, increase the size of the original flock of 6 many times over. So on this day, we take a gander at some of the biggest healthcare mergers of the year 2015.

In July, Aetna announced it would buy Humana for $37 billion, at that time the largest-ever deal in the health insurance industry.The combined company would make the merger the nation’s number two health insurer, behind UnitedHealth Group. The Justice Department is reviewing the proposed merger.

Not to be undone, two weeks later came word that Anthem would acquire Cigna for $54 billion, making it THE largest-ever health insurance transaction, and part of the mass-scale merger race that is fundamentally changing the industry. Like the Aetna-Humana deal, the merger is still under review by regulators.

Kaiser Permanente, the California integrated delivery system with one of the largest U.S. health plans, is taking another step toward becoming a national player with plans to acquire the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative.The combination will expand Kaiser Permanente’s reach, adding nearly 590,000 members.

In November, Pfizer and Allergan announced their agreement to a $160 billion dollar merger. In a chiefly-stock transaction expected to create the world’s largest drugmaker by sales. The companies predicted the combined entity would have more than $25 billion in operating cash flow starting in 2018.

IBM Watson made a huge move into the health IT space with the acquisition of Merge Healthcare. In October, the $1 billion dollar deal closed. The acquisiion is intended to feed imaging to Watson’s brain Global computing powerhouse IBM plans to acquire Chicago-based Merge Healthcare to grow its healthcare footprint further through its Watson technology.

In August, growing healthcare analytics company Health Catalyst of Salt Lake City announced it had acquired Health Care DataWorks, of Columbus, Ohio. The privately held Health Catalyst did not disclose the purchase price, but did say that two Health Care DataWorks customers, namely Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and MemorialCare Health System, both in Southern California, have invested in Health Catalyst.