Healthcare Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships: An Insider’s Guide to Communications, Second Edition

The latest edition of our book Healthcare Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships: An Insider’s Guide to Communications has just been published by HealthLeaders. Just in time.

So much has changed since the first edition was released in 2013 yet the need for clear, compelling communications and smart relationship management has never been more timely. You can learn more in the videos below or download a free chapter to get started.

Organizations that provide care – who touch patients and save lives – are facing elevated scrutiny and demands for greater (even uncomfortable) transparency as the need for making dramatic and difficult change grows.

M&A remains a key strategic play for organizations looking to protect their mission, assure their viability and evolve to deliver tomorrow’s healthcare. A successful deal can leapfrog a health system forward; a deal gone bad can kill it. The stakes are high.

We approach healthcare mergers and acquisitions like political campaigns. We think about it as if we have voters we need to win. There are issues we need to address and messages that we need to craft specifically for the audiences that are most important to a hospital or health system.

Here’s some of what we’ve learned over the years and discuss in detail throughout the book:

  • The message is important, but so is the messenger.
  • It’s important to have a significant vision about the future of your organization, and also a specific message for the people who are worried about their lives – what the deal means for them.
  • Healthcare leaders have to think about the organization and the community that they serve.
  • Presenting the message may require multiple voices
  • No matter what the change is, there’s going to be resistance to change. You must, therefore, master the art of change for a successful deal.

In addition, we know that a hospital merger or acquisition doesn’t end when the deal is signed. In fact, the work is just starting.

We believe the key to a successful transaction is not just a completed deal, but one that fulfills the vision the organizations set out to achieve in the first place. But we often see too little thought put into what happens on day two. For some organizations, it can take a year or even years before they begin to realize the synergies that they were hoping for in the first place.

This book represents a significant effort on the part of our team, along with friends and partners, to help healthcare organizations make the leap, not fall off the cliff. In it, we examine the new strategic partnership environment, set some communications ground rules, dig into how stakeholders should engage with each other, and then how to manage the relationship after the ink is dry. We also provide some thoughts on tools and technology useful throughout the process.

You can download the first chapter here. Please take a look and, of course, send it along to colleagues who might find it relevant. You can also purchase a copy of the full book here.

Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed – a list that includes over a dozen members of the Jarrard Inc. team and several of our complementary partners.

– David

David Jarrard