Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have become a popular strategy for organizations seeking to expand their market presence, acquire new capabilities, and drive growth. However, despite the significant resources invested in these transactions, a staggering number of M&A deals fail to deliver the anticipated outcomes. This begs the question: what crucial element is often overlooked in the M&A process?

The answer lies in the lack of comprehensive planning. All too often, organizations end up with a shortsighted approach that can bring severe consequences, such as employee uncertainty, customer confusion and stakeholder skepticism. Let’s look at some key strategies for successful M&A in the health sector:

Key Strategies To Maximize Outcomes in Healthcare M&A

Identifying M&A Goals in Healthcare

When entering the M&A process, healthcare organizations should always clearly define their goals. Acquisition aims might include expanding service lines, entering new markets, or obtaining proprietary technology. Conversely, divestiture goals could focus on shedding non-core assets to concentrate on high-performing units. Different objectives will have an impact on the organization’s strategies and decision-making so it is essential to have clearly defined goals as a guide.

Establish an M&A Communications Team

A communications team should be tasked with managing the day one announcement and training department managers to address employee inquiries and apprehensions following the announcement of the deal. This team should receive thorough training and be equipped with necessary communication tools.

The primary responsibilities of this crucial team may include crafting clear and compelling messaging to articulate the rationale, benefits, and implications of the M&A, creating a toolkit of communication resources, monitoring employee sentiment, and collaborating with other departments to ensure seamless alignment and consistency in communication.

Focus On Brand Integration

It’s essential to create a brand integration strategy to effectively market and position the new organization. When brands or organizations are combined, there can often be confusion. Your new organization will need a clear brand strategy moving forward to send a strong, unified message to both internal and external stakeholders.

Engage and Equip Leadership for Effective Communication

After an M&A announcement, it is natural for employees and customers to experience uncertainty and anxiety about the organization’s future. Besides the dedicated communications team assembled, employees and customers will often turn to department leaders for guidance and clarity. These leaders will often find themselves at the forefront of addressing concerns, fielding questions, and providing a reliable and authoritative perspective on the organization’s future direction.

To adequately prepare your managers and department leaders, help them to communicate confidently and effectively with their direct reports by involving them early in the process and providing them with the necessary tools and training.

Continued Focus on Patient Care

Regardless of the corporate transitions occurring, a firm focus on patient care should remain the
top priority throughout the entire M&A process. After all, the primary goal of any healthcare organization is to deliver high-quality, safe, and effective care to patients, and this must remain the guiding principle during the transition period.

Ensure minimal disruptions to your organization’s day-to-day operations, whether they involve clinical workflows, appointment scheduling, or patient access to services. Try to retain key clinical staff as much as possible to maintain the quality and continuity of care.

It is also essential to develop a plan for how your organization will integrate clinical systems and facilitate seamless data sharing. Meanwhile, continued monitoring of quality metrics such as patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes remains just as crucial.

Set Your Organization Up For Successful M&A

With well-planned and executed strategies, your organization will be able to realize the full potential of the M&A transaction. You will be able to proactively address any concerns that stakeholders have, mitigate risks, deliver clear messages to the right audience while setting the stage for a smooth transition and successful outcome.

When it comes to the intricate process of mergers and acquisitions, it certainly helps to have the expertise and advice of M&A advisors in the healthcare industry. Call Stoneridge Partners today and let our industry expertise and knowledge help you close a successful transaction.