Further investigation needed into acquisition of care activities of Careyn by Thebe
Health care provider Thebe wishes to acquire some of the activities of rival provider Stichting Careyn. Both providers offer district nursing, day activities, domestic assistance, hospice care, and personal emergency-response systems in the south of the Netherlands (more specifically in the western part of the province of Noord Brabant). The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has come to the conclusion that a further investigation is needed into the effects of the acquisition on district nursing and day activities in this region.
Further investigation needed into district nursing and day activities
These two providers will obtain a strong position with regard to district nursing and day activities in one part of the region in question. The acquisition could thus have effects on the patients’ freedom of choice, and on the price, quality, and innovation of these types of care in this region. ACM will be able to assess whether this is truly the case, if the providers decide to move ahead with this acquisition. That is why it has decided that a license is needed.
What is district nursing, what are day activities?
District nursing is domestic care that consists of care such as helping patients get dressed, bathing, and eating, as well as home care such as wound care or the administration of medication or injections. Day activities for the elderly and the chronically ill are group activities (including social activities) aimed at being active, recreation, and refreshing one’s skills and abilities, sometimes supplemented with assistance and personal care.
What are the investigation’s next steps?
If the providers wish to go through with the acquisition, they will have to apply for a license. ACM will then assess whether, after the acquisition, sufficient incentives continue to be in place, for example, to improve quality, to innovate or to work more efficiently. ACM will do so, for example, by assessing whether, after the acquisition, patients are still able to choose, to a sufficient extent, other providers of district nursing and day activities in the region in question. If the follow-up investigation is launched, ACM will, in any case, look in more detail into the opportunities for providers of district nursing and day activities to become active in this region or to expand their activities.
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.