2021 Healthcare M&A Report

Finance leaders anticipate robust consolidation


5 minute read

Key takeaways

  • While the coronavirus pandemic delayed healthcare consolidation, finance leaders expect a significant increase in their organizations’ M&A activity
  • Building scale to increase bargaining power with payers is cited as a chief M&A driver
  • Physician practices and ambulatory surgery centers rank among the most sought-after acquisition targets

The new report from BofA and HealthLeaders Media finds that the healthcare industry is seeing an extension of a decades-long consolidation trend, fueled and accelerated by the pandemic.


Bullish on M&A

Despite stalled consolidation plans, 71% of survey respondents anticipate an increase in M&A activity over the next three years.

Scale matters

Two-thirds of respondents said that building scale to improve payer negotiations is a top driver for healthcare consolidation, which is nearly double the response compared to the next biggest driver, improving patient care.

Care delivery matters too

Despite the importance of negotiating with payers, when asked about their own organizations’ M&A objectives, two-thirds of survey respondents cited care-delivery efficiency, expense management and improving population health.

Top acquisitions?

Physician practices rank as top M&A targets in the coming months for 54% of respondents. Ambulatory surgery centers ranked as the second most sought-after acquisition by 35% of respondents.