Getting Healthcare M&A Right - costs, revenue and strategy

According to a survey conducted by Capital One Healthcare, almost 90% of healthcare investors and operators expect healthcare M&A to stay the same (48%) or increase (42%).

There are several underlying drivers for this, paramount among them is the drive to efficiency, opportunities for growth and strategic investments. In all cases, the expectation is that the combined entity is worth more than the individual entities - but in many instances implementation lets the acquirer down and opportunities go unrealized. A structured, fundamentals approach will ensure success.

The Trends In Healthcare are Clear

A changing landscape is altering the financial picture.

Declining reimbursements, a reduction in overnight stays and more refined procedures are changing the healthcare landscape.  A reduction in unnecessary treatment and a fundamental shift from volume- to value-based incentives are transforming healthcare delivery.

Healthcare organizations must offer a more complete service.

Strategic acquisitions are growing. Kaufman Hall found that the type of acquisition is shifting away from saving distressed targets and toward meeting strategic objectives. (source) Healthcare systems are increasingly looking at patients holistically and providing care across a broad continuum of patient needs. Filling the gaps in care is an increasingly important objective.

At the same time, fixed costs are increasing.

There is a requirement for more fixed infrastructure and technology while costs continue to increase.

And new entrants are changing the landscape.

With Amazon and Apple announcing intentions in the healthcare space and new combinations of United Healthcare and Optum and CVS with Aetna, the healthcare landscape is changing. Like all industries, healthcare faces a wave of disruption.

Which is all driving consolidation

Ultimately, the objectives of consolidation are financial strength, reduced clinical variability, increased scale, and integrated networks that improve care delivery.  There is little disagreement that this consolidation is needed and as a result, we have seen the trend toward more mergers and acquisitions over the last few years.

These mergers are likely to continue for some time.

However, too often health organizations are not getting the value they expect out of these mergers

Instead of the scale economies, they expect healthcare organizations are burdened by:

  • Excessive duplicate contracts and vendors.

  • Supply contracts that are not standardized.

  • Standards of care are not unified.

  • Interoperability exposure.

  • Exposure to regulatory risk.

More often than not the complexity of merging the organizations overwhelms management. Merging health organizations is very difficult: there are a lot of moving parts, and there is very little room for error. There are serious compliance issues as well as lives at stake.

However, the opportunities are there, achieving them requires a fundamental approach

A typical client went through a series of acquisitions, always achieving top-line benefits, growing revenue, and services, but did not see the bottom line efficiencies. Patients were better off with a broader range of services, but also faced a complex system with conflicting processes, policies and procedures.

For example, the combined organization ended up with dozens of call center locations costing in the tens of millions while generating confusion.

By thinking fundamentally about how to deliver services and what was required our client was able to reimagine the entire call center infrastructure. Reimagining the service reduced the number of call centers and the number of people in call centers dramatically, saving tens of millions of dollars while also delivering a higher standard of care.

This scenario repeats over and over: there are many opportunities to improve the bottom line, top line and healthcare results with a different perspective and a fundamentals approach.

Our post-acquisition support breaks the cycle and delivers results.

Above Par Healthcare takes a fundamentals approach to making the combined organization work. We offer a concentrated effort to define every aspect of how the organization delivers. We:

  • Define clinical standards for the combined entity and implement these throughout.

  • Review and streamline supply contracts to ensure the best price and best results.

  • Optimize patient health information management enabling the sharing of electronic health records and sharing of patient information.

  • Delivering better financial results and better patient outcomes.

If your organization has been through a merger and wants to achieve better results, we can help.