The total value of U.S. health services mergers and acquisitions rose 43 percent from $17.2 billion in the first half of 2013 to $24.6 billion in the first half of 2014, according to a just-released analysis of M&A activity in the healthcare sector from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In its quarterly Health Services Deals Insights, PwC reports 138 announced deals in Q2 for a total of 281 deals in the first half of 2014. Of particular note, the firm finds that the managed care sector saw a 160 percent increase in deal volume in the first half of 2014, compared to the same period for 2013, as strategic buyers looked for new opportunities to “offset potentially lower margins under the Affordable Care Act and to better manage the shift toward population health strategies.”

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