5 Useful Tips to Stop Your M&A from Failing

Posted on July 9, 2018 by Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Teamwork in a hospital m&a

When do healthcare mergers and acquisitions (M&As) struggle? When the acquired practice and practitioners and the acquiring organization reach an impasse over the changes, we start to see morale, well being and quality of care suffer. But failure can be averted, or reversed, if you follow some proven principles.

1) Understand.

It’s crucial for administrators to see the M&A process through the eyes of their acquired practitioners: they’re taking risks as well as seeking rewards by moving to the new organization. They are bound to be uncertain about many aspects of their new situation and what can seem like inflexibility may actually be fear, insecurity or confusion.

2) Have realistic expectations.

Human beings can’t change their habits overnight. The “marriage” between the acquired practitioners and the organization will have rough spots no matter how prepared you feel. Accepting these realities will make everyone less likely to overreact when problems arise.

3) Communicate.

Set up channels of communication for the acquired practitioners to voice their problems and concerns and make sure you communicate the vision and goals of the organization as well. For more, see our post “4 Approved Strategies For Detoxing In A Healthcare M&A.”

4) Support.

Provide adequate information and mentoring on new practices and policies. The new organization can also be open to altering established procedures to accommodate the needs of the acquired practitioners; there might even be opportunities for improvements by looking at the acquired organization’s processes.

5) Give it time.

Both administrators and practitioners are naturally keen to have the M&A “take” as quickly as possible, with the hope it will be running smoothly in a matter of months. But it can take years for the two entities to become fully integrated. The larger and more complex your M&A is the longer it may take to completely integrate without harming your productivity goals.

For more on making M&As work, see our article Want a ‘Non-Toxic’ Merger or Acquisition? Then Get Real about Time, Expectations and Attitudes.”

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