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Autism service market heats up

March 24, 2015
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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Epic Health Services, a Dallas-based provider of pediatric skilled nursing, therapy and autism services, recently announced that it has acquired Clarity Service Group, a provider of applied behavior analysis, special education, behavioral consulting and therapeutic staffing services. The acquisition is Epic's first in the autism space.

According to the announcement, and the Braff Group originated the transaction, and served as advisor to Trevose, Pa.-based Clarity. Clarity currently provides care to about 320 kids in homes, schools and communities in five states.

"In just the past 12 to 18 months, the autism space has become one of the hottest segments in healthcare mergers and acquisitions," said Nancy Weisling, Braff Group managing director for behavioral health who headed the team representing Clarity.  "With expectations of increased utilization, funding, and clinical research—all in an extremely fragmented market with tremendous opportunity to build size, scale, and brand awareness—many buyers, both strategic and financial, are aggressively seeking market-entry deals in autism."

Epic is a portfolio company of Webster Capital, according to the announcement.

"As experts in autism treatment, Clarity was a perfect fit for us," said Epic President and CEO Chris Roussos, in a statement. "This acquisition allows us to extend our presence in the area of behavior analysis and continue to grow this exciting new service line that provides services greatly advantageous to many of the patients we serve."