Earlier this month, we released our year-end report on hospital and health system M&A activity in 2023. As a follow-up to that report, here are our thoughts on the five most interesting transactions announced in the past year.
- The creation of Risant Health and its planned acquisition of Geisinger Health. This was the transaction that created the most buzz in 2023, promising the formation of a platform—supported by Kaiser Permanente—dedicated to the advancement of value-based care. Risant Health will be created by the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and will acquire Geisinger as its first member. It will seek to add additional systems to the platform once the acquisition of Geisinger has been finalized.
- Novant Health’s acquisition of three hospitals from Tenet Healthcare. This transaction represented several of the 2023 M&A trends highlighted in our year-end report. It offers an example of for-profit health system portfolio realignment: Tenet announced that the proceeds of the sale—a pre-tax book gain of approximately $1.6 billion—will be used primarily for debt retirement. It also offers an example of regional market development, as Novant continues to expand its network in North and South Carolina. And with a valuation of the deal at 16 times adjusted EBITDA—based on the $2.4 billion sale price and $150 million adjusted EBITDA reported in the press release—this transaction reflects the value of investing in high-growth markets: in this case, coastal South Carolina.
- Henry Ford Health System’s joint venture with Ascension. Offering another example of regional market development, this transaction, when finalized, would also provide an example of how secular and faith-based organizations can work together in partnership. The press release announcing the transaction noted that both organizations “are committed to working to maintain the Catholic identity of the Ascension Michigan facilities included in the transaction.”
- The combination of BJC Health System and Saint Luke’s Health System. This transaction, announced in May 2023, closed on January 1, 2024, and provides an example of the cross-market transactions that have emerged as a significant trend in hospital and health system M&A. Also—given the relatively close geographic alignment of the two systems—it provides another example of regional market development. It is the largest of the regional development transactions called out in our year-end report: others included the Novant/Tenet transaction described above, as well as the combination of Froedtert Health and ThedaCare in eastern Wisconsin and Vandalia Health’s development of a statewide network in West Virginia.
- Centura Health’s acquisition of Steward Health’s Utah care sites. In another example of a for-profit system divesting its interest in a geographic market, Steward Health announced the sale of its Utah care sites—including five hospitals and more than 35 medical group clinics—to Centura Health, which is part of CommonSpirit Health. CommonSpirit will own the assets, which will be managed by Centura Health. For Centura, the transaction offers an opportunity to enter the growing Utah market, which has demographics similar to its home base in Colorado.
We are early in the year, but 2024 has started with a bang: the announced acquisition of Summa Health, based in Akron, Ohio, by General Catalyst’s Healthcare Assurance Transformation Corporation (HATCo). The acquisition, when completed, would launch HATCo on its path to fulfill one of the three goals set forth during the October 2023 announcement of its formation: “acquiring and operating a health system for the long term where we can demonstrate the blueprint of [healthcare] transformation for the rest of the industry.”
A special thanks to Chris Peltola, a vice president in Kaufman Hall’s Partnerships, Mergers & Acquisitions practice, for his contributions to this article.
 Kaufman Hall served as an advisor in the BJC Health System/Saint Luke’s Health System and Centura Health/Steward Health transactions.
 Kaufman Hall also served as an advisor in the Froedtert Health/ThedaCare and Vandalia Health transactions.
 Kaufman is serving as an advisor to Summa Health in this transaction.