Millions of Americans Receive Insurance from ACA Special Enrollment
A special enrollment period has allowed nearly 3 million Americans to gain access to benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act. President Joe Biden reopened the online health insurance marketplace in February this year to give more Americans a chance to get coverage. The special enrollment period closed in August, but more than four of every ten Americans that gained coverage during the enrollment period could find a plan for $10 or less per month. Over 12.2 million Americans are currently insured under the ACA, which is an all-time high.1
Unvaccinated People Overwhelm Hospitals as Delta Cases Decline
Unvaccinated people throughout the country have been filling hospitals with new COVID-19 cases, even in some of the best-vaccinated states, including Maine, Vermont, and western Massachusetts. Relaxed precautions like wearing masks and social distancing combined with the high transmissibility of the new Delta variant have contributed to an increase in COVID-19 cases. However, the surge in Delta-driven cases nationwide has declined in recent weeks, hospitalizations are decreasing, and epidemiologists hope deaths will level off soon.2
Pfizer Inc. Purchases Trillium Therapeutics
CD47 inhibitors are an early-stage cancer treatment that triggers a response from the immune system to ‘eat’ cancer cells. The treatment has had promising results in tests to treat various blood cancers, although the research is in its earliest clinical stage. Pfizer Inc. recently purchased Trillium Therapeutics Inc. for $1.85bn, demonstrating the potential market value CD47 could bring to healthcare. Another large biopharma player with a CD47 program is Gilead Sciences Inc., which is the furthest along at about one to two years ahead of its competitors, with potential commercialization by 2022. Additionally, Merck & Co. Inc. and Eli Lilly and Co. have teamed up with Californian biotech ALX Oncology Holdings to bring CD47 antibodies to the cancer market along with immunotherapies which could help the new drug collect better results.3
Ransomware Groups Target Healthcare Organizations
Healthcare institutions have been the target of increased attacks by ransomware groups in the past few months. These groups are seemingly ramping up the attacks as hospitals are busy treating the new wave of COVID-19 infections. Groups have been exploiting security vulnerabilities to leak sensitive patient information. Over a third of healthcare organizations have experienced attacks in 2020, with ransomware groups stealing data in 65% of those attacks. Hospitals are targeted for the sensitive personal data of their patients, leading many healthcare professionals to put an increased emphasis on cybersecurity. 41% of healthcare providers expect a ransomware attack in the future, and 34% have been attacked within the past year, while only 24% said they felt safe from future attacks.4
Home Health Devices Transform Patient Care
Telehealth technology evolved quickly due to social distancing rules throughout the pandemic, and the innovative at-home healthcare devices and monitoring tools are being used to care for patients. Remote monitoring options are being offered to patients due to their payment flexibility and lower costs, with hospitals and doctors supporting the push as the pandemic continues to restrict in-person care. Medtech startups are also shifting care away from hospitals to at-home care and monitoring, with 70% of diagnostic startups in accelerator MedTech Innovator's 2021 database offering products that allow patients and physicians to get real-time results.5
Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Face Suspension
Concerns over healthcare worker shortages are already high. Many U.S. healthcare systems have mandated that their workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 to reduce the spread of the disease in healthcare facilities. The vaccination requirement might worsen these shortages as hundreds of workers will be unable to work once the mandate takes effect. New York has had hundreds of unvaccinated workers suspended, including 7% of Erie County Medical Center Corporation staff in Buffalo, New York. Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, New Jersey, Virginia, Maine, and Maryland, may soon face the same problem as their mandate deadlines approach. There are already reports of staff quitting or being fired over the vaccine. Alan Morgan, the head of the Rural Health Association, said he expects disruptions at some of his member hospitals, some of which have reported that 40% of their staff is unvaccinated.6
Medical Device Companies Seek Priority Amid Semiconductor Chip Shortage
Medical device manufacturers, such as those making pacemakers, MRI machines, and Ultrasound equipment, have won priority over larger buyers since their medical devices are vital tools for the healthcare industry. Medical device makers leveraged the lifesaving capabilities of their devices to reduce lead times, but prices have still skyrocketed for chips. Mike Arena, Vice President of Operations for Fujifilm SonoSite, a manufacturer of portable ultrasound machines, stated that CEOs and senior VPs “very much want to help” the manufacturers. However, the company recently paid $65 apiece for a part that typically costs $1.49 due to supply issues.7
Largest Transactions Closed
- Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- AstraZeneca PLC
- PRA Health Sciences, Inc.
- ICON Public Limited Company
- Aldevron, LLC
- Danaher Corporation
- GRAIL, Inc.
- Illumina, Inc.
- CIOX Health
- Datavant, Inc.
- Kindred At Home
- Humana Inc.
- BioLegend, Inc.
- PerkinElmer, Inc.
- Translate Bio, Inc.
- Vividion Therapeutics, Inc.
- Bayer Aktiengesellschaft
- Luminex Corporation
- DiaSorin S.p.A.
Other Financial Buyer Transactions Closed
- Cordis Corporation
- Hellman & Friedman LLC
- Four general acute care hospitals in Los Angeles
- Medical Properties Trust, Inc.
- Vector Laboratories, Inc.
- Thompson Street Capital Partners
Other Strategic Buyer Transactions Closed
- Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- MorphoSys AG
- Alliance Healthcare Services, Inc.
- Akumin Corp.
- 5 hospitals of Tenet Healthcare Corporation
- Steward Health Care System LLC
This report represents transaction activity as mergers & acquisitions, consolidations, restructurings and spin-offs. Targets are defined as U.S. Based companies with either foreign or U.S. based buyers. Transaction information provided is based on closed dates only.
EBIT - Earnings Before Interest and Taxes