How an Early IT Integration Vision Leads to M&A Success in Healthcare

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Because technology is fundamental to all healthcare organizations, having IT teams at the table before, during and after the merger or acquisition process is critical to its success, says Isabelle Bibet-Kalinyak, associate at the firm. Brach Eichler.

“Technology is so expensive to manage, change, merge, adapt, or eliminate altogether, and that’s certainly part of the equation,” says Bibet-Kalinyak. “If electronic health record systems aren’t compatible, or you don’t have a plan on how to get them through, there could be disruptions in care. There could be violations under HIPAA where patient records are not secure. Thus, a buyer will want to know a lot about a firm’s IT infrastructure, as well as the history.

Preparing for IT integration before a healthcare merger or acquisition

The health of an organization’s IT infrastructure is an important part of its value.

During the merger or acquisition process, buyers will likely evaluate a healthcare organization’s IT infrastructure based on how it was built (either in-house or by a third-party vendor) and maintained, and will also consider claims history and security policies, including cyber liability. , says Bibet-Kalinyak.

EXPLORE: Why planning is critical to managing health IT integration during a merger and acquisition.

“The more disconnected and difficult it is to make the transition to IT, the greater the impact on the purchase price,” says Bibet-Kalinyak. “The buyer will try to pass the cost of a transition onto the seller by reducing the purchase price.”

Eisenberg notes that older patient care or billing systems may have been operated by third parties, so the data may not be as accurate. He adds that smaller healthcare organizations may be less sophisticated when it comes to tracking patient outcomes and other data. As recently as 2019, more than 10% of physician-led practices were not using EHR systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Having scalable, flexible and accessible IT systems is key to making them more attractive in the marketplace,” says Eisenberg.

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