Post-Merger Integration: The Board's Role Begins Before the Ink is Dry

by Todd W. Fitz, Timothy Shoger and Kit A. Kamholz

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are occurring throughout health care, with transactions happening among entities of all provider types and sizes.(According to the latest analysis by Kaufman, Hall & Associates, LLC, 49 transactions were announced in the first half of 2015, up from 43 transactions in the first half of 2014.)

A priority objective for hospital partnerships is to build the competencies required to manage population health under new value-oriented care and payment models required by consumers, employers, and government and private payers. Needed competencies and infrastructure include network development, clinical alignment, quality, information technology, and brand recognition.

Integration can take numerous paths, but the realization of the partnership’s expected benefits − establishing and strengthening essential competencies − is of paramount importance. The board’s role in facilitating/ensuring that the partnership achieves its anticipated benefits is critical. The discussion below identifies some key questions board members should answer individually and collectively to help the organization clarify and achieve the integration’s intended goals.

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