The consolidation of America's managed health care industry rivals any corporate raider scenario. Unlike previous merger booms, however, health care unions in the 1990s have been strategically planned. Particular attention is paid to merger activity in the behavioral health care field. Ultimately, the author writes, mergers will bring greater efficiency and lower costs to health care but also less choice for patients. Unless providers and payers pay close attention to the human side of mergers and acquisitions, new alliances are likely to fall short of their goals.