How the Best Healthcare C-Suites Make "M&As" Work & What You Need to Know

Posted on July 6, 2018 by Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

c-suite physiciansThose at the top of the org chart set the vision, goals and tone for the healthcare organization. When M&As (mergers and acquisitions) are an issue, it’s particularly important the C-Suite understand their roles to help the process run smoothly and support the engagement and well being of everyone involved.

The CEO/COO need to have and hold the larger vision of what success means for the organization as a whole as it goes through the M&A process. He or she needs to avoid micromanaging the CMO and the physicians. This means:

  • Reinforcing organizational expectations of patient satisfaction scores and medical errors
  • Supporting physician engagement
  • Maintaining good relations with the community

The CMO has his or her sights set on carrying out the clinical mission of the healthcare organization to help fulfill the vision set by the CEO/COO. During an M&A, the CMO is also in a crucial position for communicating between practitioners and administration. Having earned the trust of both groups, the CMO can interpret the needs of each with unique authority and help avoid the pitfalls of many M&As.

The CFO should take a long-term, holistic view of revenues and expenditures. Especially during a time when new practitioners are coming onboard and probably struggling to adjust. The CFO should expect “synergies” will not occur right away and there is likely to be a productivity drop while everyone adjusts. Additionally, he or she should avoid being “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” For example, selecting equipment or processes requiring physicians to work longer hours isn’t likely to promote the transitioning teams’ engagement  or professional satisfaction.

This trio (CEO/CFO/CMO) has a bird’s eye-view of the entire M&A and working together the C-Suite can give clear direction and character. The result ideally is a process to tackle obstacles with prompt and clear decision-making and respect all stakeholders’ needs and input while maintaining quality.

If you’d like to learn more, read our article Want a “Non-Toxic” Merger or Acquisition? Then Get Real about Time, Expectations and Attitudes or visit our Physician Well Being Resources page.

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