With the trend of hospital employment and practice buy-outs, one sensitive aspect of the transition is the cultural clash that occurs between hospitals and physicians. To alleviate the challenges of hospital-physician integration, focus on leadership, teamwork, and communication; this according to a study by Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) magazine.
According to a recent Accenture Health report, by 2013 less than 1/3 of physician practices will remain independent; in addition, healthcare mergers and acquisitions have hit an all-time high. Merger and acquisition deals are 26% more likely to be successful if all parties pay attention to resolving cultural differences during the negotiation and prior to the implementation of the new hospital group.
Culture can run the gamut of treatment of patients, referring physicians, and employees; decision-making process; performance rewards; risk; and quality and costs. Just as important is identifying who the leaders are in the physician practice and the hospital. The merging organizations should use these representatives to drive the process and communicate every step to each other.
A merger, buy-out, or lease of a practice can be more successful from the beginning if hospitals and physicians develop a measurable vision, understand the joint agreement, implement an organizational communication plan, analyze results, and measure cultural alignment.
Read the full article in Healthcare Financial Management Association magazine, or click here: