Effective planning and integration services make for seamless transition
Suspense keeps all eyes on the diligence phase when one company acquires or merges with another, with crucial questions to be answered and certain factors to be weighed before the deal can be inked.
But some of the most important determinants of a successful transaction occur once all parties have left the table where the deal was signed. Ideally, those determinants should be ready to roll out while signatures that forged the deal are still drying.
"Planning for post-merger integration is a crucial part of the process,” said SimiTree Associate Principal Mark Romano. "An effective plan will address both short-term integration efficiencies and long-term strategic goals, involve leadership in visible roles and set realistic expectations.”
The plan will also be flexible, bridging the initial coming together as smoothly as possible while more in-depth assessments take place and data is collected to guide longer-term decisions, Romano said.
“The goal is to keep things operating seamlessly, without losing value due to integration issues,” he said. “Sometimes that requires interim leadership from managers with experience in specific leadership roles or in driving integration goals and performance.”
Interim services crucial
In addition to providing M&A clinical and financial due diligence, business valuation and other services, SimiTree works with buyers and sellers, parent companies and newly acquired companies to create a roadmap for successful integration. Interim services can be integral to the process, Romano said.
“We offer a variety of interim services specifically designed to keep companies moving forward after a merger or acquisition, from crucial interim management services to billing and other revenue cycle services or interim clinical management,” he said.
Consistency is always a huge consideration, Romano said.
“When you look at financial operations, for example, one of the key factors is assuring consistency. Existing agreements with contractors, vendors and payers need to be reviewed. Systems, processes and policies need to be assessed and compared to decide which will be leveraged. The revenue cycle needs to be evaluated for optimal cash flow,” he said.
SimiTree shepherds clients through the process, often stepping in with interim revenue cycle management services and working alongside the merging teams, or fielding executives with industry specific expertise who have guided other companies through similar transitions.
Clinical ops, technology and compliance
Additional areas where home health post-merger integration planning is essential include clinical operations, technology and compliance, Romano said.
“From having in place an effective governance structure with well-defined roles and responsibilities to ascertaining how operational procedures will successfully come together, there’s a myriad of things which have to be done,” he said.
SimiTree helps by providing clinical operations assessments necessary to assess workflow, staffing and other operational components, or oversee information technology integration.
“Will the new company transition to the acquiring company’s EMR or IT system? If not, are the two systems compatible? Do you need us to come in and oversee the integration project for you?” Romano said.
Although clinical diligence usually includes a comprehensive compliance assessment in the early acquisition phase, more compliance measures must be put into place during integration.
“Many new compliance requirements will need to be fulfilled after the merger or acquisition takes place,” Romano said. “New compliance officers will need to be identified, new written compliance policies and procedures will have to be established, and decisions will need to be made about when compliance training will be provided to employees, officers – even the governing board.”
SimiTree can help
SimiTree’s M&A team has the full home health post-merger integration services playbook to assist home health and hospice providers in each phase of a successful integration, bringing together people, technology, assets, and processes to achieve strategic goals.
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