by Michelle Del Guercio | Apr 3, 2018 | Blog
For hospital and clinical laboratory leaders, reading news about rising healthcare mergers and acquisitions is one thing.
Actually making a multi-hospital or multi-lab relationship work is another ordeal.
“Health systems are under pressure to ensure they have the right assets in the right place to optimize care,” said Anu Singh, Managing Director at Kaufman Hall, in a Healthcare Dive article.
Merger momentum is expected to continue in 2018 “along the continuum of care including areas such as large physician groups, long-term care, and labs,” Kaufman Hall analysts wrote in the report, “2017 in Review: The Year M&A Shook the Healthcare Landscape.”
Other key findings noted in the Kaufman Hall paper are:
- Transactions numbered 115 in 2017, about 13% more than the year prior
- The most mega-deals, 11, took place in 2017, involving sellers with net revenue of $1 billion or more
- Strategic reasons surpassed financial reasons for deal-making
Regardless of the reason for mergers, Sunquest finds they are not easy on involved labs, which are tasked with quickly realizing and executing a relationship while remaining efficient and productive — and focused on patient safety.
Each lab is unique. When they come together in a health system, labs need to address differences: disparate laboratory information systems, a mix of health information and registration systems, various workflow scenarios and more.
Labs, corralled by healthcare consolidations, also face multiple access points for lab orders, which reinforces the need for clean and complete orders and reimbursement. Over-capacity challenges are possible pursuant to a merger, including load balancing and managing the number of medical technologists.
Healthcare systems, new or not so new, are forming test networks with regional core and stat labs. Labs may be required to send orders to other labs due to payer rules. Also noteworthy is the trend of labs selling or outsourcing business to a larger reference or national lab brand.
Strategies to consolidate systems or labs may sound good in the conference room. In the lab however, there are implications for test routing, system interfacing, interoperability, connectivity, test reporting and record management, among other factors.
About the author
Michelle Del Guercio
Vice President Product Marketing
Michelle’s passion for healthcare, with specific focus on the laboratory, started with her first job as a specimen courier. Now, as an industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience, her passion is fueled by providing healthcare organizations with practical and strategic methods in which they can utilize enterprise laboratory solutions to support the success of their organization – and drive towards better patient care.