The Physician Medical Group sector has been very busy in recent years, as hospitals and health systems acquire local practices that can produce referrals and private equity firms build platforms and make add-on deals. Dermatology practices aren’t coveted by hospitals, so it’s the private equity firms that are doing the collecting.

In the first eight weeks of 2018, 17 deals for physician medical groups have been annouced, 10 in Janaury and seven in the first three weeks of February. The usual specialty practices were represented in that mix, with Mednax (NYSE: MD) adding a neonatology practice in California, Minnesota-based not-for-profit Fairview Health Services acquiring a neurology practice in St. Paul, and Radiology Partners, a portfolio company of New Enterprise Associates, buying an imaging center in California. An allergy care and an ear-nose-throat practice were also acquired, as were four ophthalmology practices (Gauge Capital LLC made two).

Five of the 17 deals targeted derm practices, which isn’t news if you follow this sector. In 2017, there were 48 dermatology acquisitions, compared with 26 in all of 2016.

All five derm deals in 2018 have been add-ons for Anne Arundel Dermatology (2), Platinum Dermatology Partners (2) and Epiphany Dermatology (1).

Platinum has announced seven partnerships since its formation by Sterling Partners in May 2016. Six of those have targeted Texas-based practices, but its latest transaction brought it into the Phoenix, Arizona metro area.

Likewise, Anne Arundel Dermatology, a portfolio company of New MainStream Capital, has focused on Maryland-based practices since its acquisition in June 2015. In August 2017, the company headed south to Tennessee for its first acquisition there. The two deals announced in February were also for Tennessee-based practices.

Epiphany, which was acquired by CI Captial Partners in June 2016, has made nine transactions public since then. Its most recent target is located in St. Louis, Missouri, a new state for the company. Earlier acquisitions were concentrated in New Mexico (4), Texas (2) and one each in Arizona and Oklahoma.

Other PE-backed platform companies are still on the prowl, and we expect to hear news from Riverchase Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (GTCR), Schweiger Dermatology (LLR Partners) and U.S. Dermatology Partners (ABRY Partners, formerly known as Dermatology Associates).