It’s no secret that hospitals have been getting much friendlier with one another lately.

Consolidation activity in the healthcare industry has been accelerating for several years, driven by changes in reimbursement, spikes in the rate of the uninsured and major shifts on the horizon in light of government health reforms. That’s led systems small and large to buddy up in partnerships ranging from simple clinical affiliations to corporate mergers and sales. But, one type of transaction may be picking up in popularity: non-profit hospitals and health systems partnering with private equity firms.

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