The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has conditionally cleared health care provider Thebe Wijkverpleging to acquire some of the activities of rival provider Stichting Careyn in the south of the Netherlands (more specifically in the western part of the province of Noord Brabant). ACM has set as condition that Careyn must transfer its district-nursing activities in the municipalities of Alphen-Chaam and Baarle-Nassau to another health care provider. Otherwise, consumers would be left with too few options in those municipalities.
Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board, explains: “Having high-quality district nursing is important. At the same time, it is also important that clients seeking health care have a choice, also in smaller municipalities. District nursing is of vital importance to people in vulnerable positions such as seniors and those seeking long-term care. If multiple providers offer district nursing in the same municipality, health care providers continue to be stimulated to offer high-quality care. And it leads to them making sure that their offerings meet the needs of their clients as much as possible. This is of great importance to anyone seeking care.”
District nursing in Alphen-Chaam and Baarle-Nassau
In the municipalities of Alphen-Chaam and Baarle-Nassau, Thebe would, following the acquisition of Careyn’s care activities, virtually be the sole provider of district nursing. That is why Careyn will transfer its district-nursing activities in Alphen-Chaam and Baarle-Nassau to rival provider Thuiszorg Groot Brabant. This transfer must be completed before Thebe acquires Careyn’s other care activities. In that way, clients and health care buyers in these municipalities will be able to choose another health care provider besides Thebe.
The city of Breda
ACM does not see any anticompetitive concerns with regard to the other activities that Thebe wishes to acquire. These include district nursing and day activities in the city of Breda. Clients continue to be able to choose between different health care providers. That acts as an incentive to health care providers to offer services at a competitive price-quality ratio.
About Thebe and Careyn
Thebe is a health care provider active in the western part of the province of Noord Brabant, among other regions. It offers district nursing, day activities, and nursing home care, among other activities. Careyn is also in that region. Thebe acquires district nursing, day activities, domestic assistance, hospice care, and personal emergency-response systems in the western part of the province of Noord Brabant.
ACM’s concentration control: mergers and acquisitions
Through its assessments of mergers and acquisitions, ACM contributes towards the affordability, accessibility, and quality of health care. In ACM’s assessments of mergers and acquisitions, the consequences for patients and insured are central. If patients and health insurers have sufficient options, it will help towards lower prices, higher quality, and more innovation in health care.
More in this case
08-05-2020 Thebe and Careyn apply for a license for an acquisition (concentration notification) (in Dutch)