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Merger mania may spread from health insurers to hospital operators

Some of the biggest health insurers in the nation have recently announced deals to join forces, which may push for-profit hospital operators to combine to gain leverage, according to a Bloomberg report.

In recent weeks, Aetna has made a $37 billion offer to acquire Humana and Anthem made a $52.4 billion takeover offer to Cigna. If the deals pass antitrust scrutiny, the end result will be bigger and more powerful insurers. To gain leverage and improve their negotiating power with these payers, hospital operators may decide to join forces.

It might be difficult for large hospital operators to come together, as those transactions would have many antitrust hurdles to overcome. However, if antitrust regulators allow seven of the biggest health insurers to combine into just four, hospital operators would have a stronger argument for looking at each other for potential partnerships, according to the report.

More articles on healthcare transactions:

Top 5 hospital deals in Q2
Merged and none the wiser: What keeps hospitals from gaining economies of scale?
10 recent hospital transactions and partnerships


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