Acquiring another practice can be a powerful tool for your group to achieve growth and build long-term value. There are, however, a few key mistakes that are often made which could be avoided with more thoughtful reflection.
1. Failing to define a vision—before the integration occurs.
Crafting a vision that clearly spells out the opportunity inherent in the transformation ahead should, but often doesn’t, start long before a deal is pursued. Drawing from an "expanded due diligence" process that explores quantitative metrics, like physician group operations and financials, as well as the people and culture of the merged entity, is key.
Leaders must build and communicate a vision of success that is understandable, tangible, and compelling to employees throughout the ranks of both practices. Factoring in in the value of the people, assets, and cultural elements of each practice will empower leadership to look beyond the basic additive advantages of the deal and construct a more holistic vision—inspired by both head and heart—for the opportunity ahead.
2. Forgetting to ask, “What more could we become together?”
The single biggest pitfall that derails successful transactions occurs during the actual integration process. Those involved often focus too heavily on ensuring the tactical aspects of the deal are covered, including technology integration, financial reporting, operations, and merging organizational structures.
The real power of any physician group merger comes from both practices challenging each other to ask, “What more could we become together?” How can each practice learn from the best of each respective practice and let go of old biases? This will build the two parts into a better whole. Viewing the integration process through this lens will help build collective urgency and alignment around shared goals and generate excitement among employees for the new entity’s future.