Following consecutive record years for health care transactions, 2023 was a comparatively lukewarm time for home health and hospice dealmaking activity. That’s according to a recent report from PwC.
Specifically, there were 95 home health and hospice deals in the 12 months examined by PwC, which ended on Nov. 15., compared to 114 during the same period last year. The deals were worth $4.7 billion.
Additionally, these transactions were a 16% bump in volume, and a 75% increase in value.
In the third quarter, in particular, there were 25 home health, home care and hospice transactions, according to data from the M&A firm The Braff Group.
There were 12 Medicare-certified home health deals, three hospice deals, nine private-duty deals and one Medicaid-based deal.
“We’ve previously reported that the mergers and acquisitions market has been in a prolonged slowdown since the end of 2022,” The Braff Group wrote in the report. “Early in the year, we were cautiously optimistic that we might begin to see the beginnings of a rebound in the second half of 2023. But with the Fed not ruling out additional rate hikes and fears of a recession, though less acute, nevertheless lingering, buyers are still largely playing it safe by not playing at all.”
Though the transaction hasn’t been completed, one of the standout deals this year was UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) pending acquisition of Amedisys Inc. The deal was announced back in June and is worth $3.3 billion.
At the start of 2021, Amedisys offloaded its personal care business to the Massachusetts-based HouseWorks.
UnitedHealth Group did complete it’s $5.4 billion deal for LHC Group, however, back in February.
Overall, health services deal volumes dropped by 13% from 2022, and deal value also declined, according to the PwC report.
Despite this, PwC experts believe that M&A will likely be a key growth and profit driver next year.
“Our outlook for 2024 health services deals is cautiously optimistic,” PwC wrote in the report. “While general apprehension from all parties involved in the deal cycle continues, corporate and private equity players alike continue to hold large levels of capital that need to be deployed. Corporate entities recognize the importance of business reinvention and portfolio transformation to achieve growth and profit expectations, with M&A seen as a leading way to drive these changes.”