We greatly appreciate our readers continuing to turn to us for insight on the most critical legal, regulatory and transactional developments, and innovative collaborations transforming health care. Over the past year, McDermott’s Health practice made headlines for our work on several of the most high-profile collaborative transformations that took place in 2018: We were one

Technology companies are pouring unprecedented capital, time and energy into the health care and life sciences industry, and are reshaping the deal landscape in the process. The top 10 US tech companies have made $4.7 billion in acquisitions in the health care space since 2012, according to CB Insights. Key market factors driving health care joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions include the merger of molecular science and computer technology, a growing focus on patient-centric care, increased mobility of consumer health products and services, and deep capital markets. In this fast-paced, proactive deals environment, traditional health players have exciting—and disruptive—new opportunities to enter into unexpected partnerships and pursue transformative innovation.

With Great Disruption Comes Great Opportunity

A helpful analogy for understanding the role of tech companies in this rapidly evolving sector is Uber’s disruption of the ride-hailing industry. When Uber came on the scene, on-demand ride-hailing was only available through taxicabs, and frequently only available in major cities. Now on-demand ride hailing is available through numerous companies and in areas that previously did not have such services available. Ride-hailing companies have also expanded their services offering to include food delivery.

Tech companies entering the health industry today are doing the same thing: reimagining and redefining the fundamentals of consumer access to health care. These companies often have deep insight into distribution and consumer purchasing behavior, and are willing to invest more capital and take on more risk than traditional health industry players in order to explore and develop creative health care offerings. Furthermore, the solutions they are developing don’t just offer incremental improvements—creating a more expensive service or drug option doesn’t cut it. Instead, they want to create dramatic solutions that make health care better overall. Tech companies in the health care space are pursuing innovation that carries value in context of the entire health ecosystem.
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The PPM industry is by no means immune to the ebbs and flows of a traditional marketplace. Since the consolidation bubble burst in the 1990s, PPMs have gone from practically extinct to a once-again substantial component of the health care delivery system. But with greater influence comes more pressure to respond, and adapting to today’s

The health care field is evolving at light speed, adapting to changing patient, physician and payer expectations. This is particularly evident in the physician practice management (PPM) and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) industries. We gathered recently in Nashville, Tennessee for the 2018 Physician Practice Management & ASC Symposium to explore and discuss these changes –

Physician practice management (PPM) and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) companies continue to attract tremendous attention of private equity investors and continue to play a key and growing role in the healthcare services sector.

In advance of our 2018 Physician Practice Management & ASC Symposium, I wanted to get a better sense of where the

There are many critical issues facing the physician practice management (PPM) and ambulatory surgery center (ASC) industries today, including the effects of sky-high valuations, concerns about sustainability, and the importance of delivering on value. This current environment demands new approaches to PPM structures — one that is focused on alignment and designed to enable growth.

Below are five key market issues to be addressed at the 2018 Physician Practice Management & ASC Symposium in Nashville, TN on April 25-26, where industry leaders will come together to discuss trends in the current landscape and the myriad business, transactional and regulatory issues that exist today, including:
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Specialty pharmacy is not going away any time soon – by 2020, it’s expected that the pharmacy industry’s revenue will exceed $483 billion, with almost all growth as a result of specialty drugs (high-cost medications used to treat chronic conditions, such as cancer). It’s also estimated that the next generation of pharmaceutical “blockbusters” will be primarily specialty products. As the make-up of the pharmaceutical market shifts, we’re also seeing changes with the role of pharmacy benefit managers and other medical groups in the process. How are these shifts in specialty pharmacy impacting the health care system as a whole?

We asked Karen Gibbs, McDermott partner and former VP and Senior Counsel at CVS, to share her expertise on the subject and her thoughts on what’s to come.

Q.  Investments in niche sectors of pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy and pharmacy benefit management have gained huge traction recently. What’s driving the shift away from more traditional pharmacies?   

A.  Traditional pharmacies are retail establishments and have been suffering from the same earnings pressure that all retail establishments have endured. Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) typically own mail and specialty pharmacy operations, which generate revenue in a manner complementary to that derived from the pharmacy benefit management services. The margin on specialty pharmacy and PBM services is significantly more than retail pharmacy.
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Since the announcement in late January that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan were teaming up to “disrupt health care,” the intersection of health and business has been top of mind for many. As we wait with bated breath to see just how (or if) they revolutionize the industry, the conversation continues about other potential disruptors and trends on the health care horizon.

Earlier this month, McDermott Will & Emery hosted the 2018 Health Care Services Private Equity Symposium, where participants explored the various business and legal perspectives impacting the health care field. I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion at the event entitled “Hot or Not? A Health Care Sector Analysis,” where I joined a handful of experienced investment minds to explore key trends in health care private equity in 2018.
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