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Analysts forecast 2015 at Nashville roundtable

January 22, 2015
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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Known as a healthcare hub, the city of Nashville has historically attracted the attention of investors who continue to infuse its 250 health organizations with capital. This week, the Nashville Health Care Council’s annual Wall Street’s View on Prospects for the Health Care Industry program gathered 500 executives to discuss what 2015 has in store.

Analysts highlighted key themes, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act, continued consolidation in the market and strategic innovations. Paula Torch, senior research analyst with Avondale Partners, noted that the behavioral health segment in particular is likely to see interest from investors.

“There’s a lot of opportunity in the inpatient psych business as well as substance abuse,” Torch said. “And now that we have a pure-play substance abuse provider that is a public company, I think you’ll see there’s going to be a lot more activity, given the fragmentation. With favorable legislation, I think demand is increasing, and that’s going to open up a really robust [merger and acquisition] pipeline in 2015 and beyond.”

American Addiction Centers (AAC), headquartered in the Nashville area, is the publicly traded SUD provider. AAC launched its initial public offering in early October 2014 and has by all accounts performed well since.

The discussion was moderated by Wayne T. Smith, chairman and CEO, Community Health Systems.

“Having so many people here [at the event] with so much support, it just speaks so well of this community,” Smith said. “There’s no other community in the country that has this kind of support for their healthcare council.”

Worldwide, Nashville’s healthcare industry generates more than 400,000 jobs and $70 billion in annual revenue. According to the council, the industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest growing employer.

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