Case Study

Forming a partnership from positions of strength

Two prized regional health systems wanted to partner to tackle major health issues in their home state – and to ward off out-of-state competitors eager to snap them up. But influential state lawmakers were skeptical of this merger of equals. Meanwhile, staffs and physicians were already grappling with change fatigue, since both systems had launched separate major initiatives independent of the merger.

The Solution

Cognizant that both systems were partnering from positions of strength, we worked closely with leaders to create a broad understanding of “the why” behind the merger. We had to demonstrate clearly that they weren’t growing just to grow, but had made a strategic decision to improve access, service and long- term stability. Together, they could ward off encroachment from larger systems in neighboring states and focus efforts on a state-based solution to healthcare. Conjoined, the erstwhile rivals would enjoy blended leadership with existing CEOs sharing at the helm.

Our team worked simultaneously on the merger and integration, convening legal and government relations, leadership from both systems and transaction advisers. After crafting, we delivered our cohesive story in a deliberate, highly cadenced drumbeat that engaged internal audiences, regional media and state and federal regulators. We intentionally overcommunicated. Even a dedicated website helped explain the partnership. We supported respective internal teams, aligned leadership and worked together to navigate the political dynamics.

The Results

Potential roadblocks cleared, our clients successfully completed the deal ahead of schedule. The unified, mission-driven organization is highly-regarded and operating virtually statewide to improve care.

Tactics

forming a partnership from positions of strength

The Takeaway

Powerful regional systems were joining but faced pressure and cynicism from state lawmakers and staffs burned out on change. We built a compelling story and advocacy among stakeholders for the $4 billion enterprise and its benefits for current and future patients.

2,800

total physicians

28,000

team members

18

months of M&A and integration strategy and support