- HCA Holdings Inc. announced Tuesday a deal to acquire Dallas-based CareNow, a privately-held chain of 24 urgent care centers in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The HCA board has authorized the repurchase of up to $1 billion of its outstanding shares.
- Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
- HCA, the largest US-based hospital operator, recently previewed its third-quarter earnings. The company disclosed that its quarterly profit rose from the same period in 2013 as a result of a 2.8% increase in admissions.
The march of provider M&A continues, despite increased pressure from regulators who continue to voice concerns about anti-competitive behavior on the part of providers. While hospitals have argued that consolidation is necessary to improve and coordinate care for patients, the Federal Trade Commission asserts that it's possible to meet those goals without a full merger. What's notable about this acquisition is the continued emphasis that providers are placing on delivering care in the urgent-care setting—something regulators have yet to turn a close eye on.
Meanwhile, HCA recently disclosed its Q3 earnings, reporting a 42% increase in net income in the third quarter and raising its projections for the year. It saw increased volumes, helping it reach $518 million in net income, up from $365 million during the third quarter of 2013.