Ensure your enterprise imaging strategy facilitates mergers and acquisitions

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It’s been happening for a while now – big hospitals gobbling up smaller hospitals. Imaging centers being bought by health systems. The consolidation era is here…and it’s not slowing down any time soon.

In fact, according to a recent MGMA Physician Compensation and Production Survey, over 50% of medical practices are now owned by hospitals, up from 26% in 2005. This phenomenon – now more than ever – is driving the need for providers to have anywhere, anytime access to data to achieve economies of scale, reduce redundancy, integrate care delivery and improve competitiveness. Interoperability is a necessity in today’s environment of mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

That said, having a sound enterprise imaging strategy in place not only makes sense in the consolidation era, but it can help also support your M&A goals operationally, clinically and financially to ensure organizational success. Here are five steps to ensure your enterprise imaging strategy supports your M&A goals.

1. Assess industry and regional drivers.
Be sure to consider private and public reimbursement, enterprise-wide clinical expertise and an understanding of a competitor’s (i.e. acquisition targets) strengths and weaknesses, population dynamics, as well as referral patterns. Consolidation should strengthen your organization’s ability to leverage the biggest drivers over the coming 5-10 years.

2. Understand the strategic advantages and how to leverage them.
This includes an internal and external analysis to identify existing operational, financial and clinical advantages and gaps. Technical systems and operational processes should be examined to recognize areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Think about ways to strategically work with vendors, referrers, payers, lenders and suppliers to leverage the best assets.

3. Identify SMART (specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals for improving financial performance post acquisition.
Because it’s important to achieve clinical and financial goals within 2-3 years post-acquisition, it’s critical to map out dependencies and ensure the proper tools are in place prior to the acquisition. Mull over the opportunities that enable a longitudinal view of a patient’s clinical records and images and how this type of solution supports bundled payment models.
4. Gain consensus on priorities.
Make sure all functional areas in your organization are on the same page to achieve positive cash flow. This should cover all business, operational and clinical functions, whether enterprise-wide or departmental. Don’t forget electronic health record, coding and billing departments.
5. Ensure standardized, enterprise-wide technologies and processes are in place.
Considerable time should be spent identifying strategic business, clinical and imaging technology gaps and how they affect the organization’s ability to quickly integrate an acquired business. Where possible, cloud-based platforms should be employed because they can reap benefits quickly.

Is your organization considering any M&A initiatives? What are you doing to prepare for the consolidation era? Read more here.

Originally posted on: 1/15/2014 3:56:51 PM

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