Hospital-Acquired Medical Practices: Buyer Beware? Print
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Tuesday, 25 June 2013 00:00

An article in Futurescan 2012: Healthcare Trends and Implications 2012-2017 outlines the huge shift in favor of hospital-owned medical practices. Those of us who've been around the block a time or two can't shake the déjà vu of the 1990s or the disastrous outcome. This time, though, the outcome of a medical practice acquisition plan can be different as hospital systems vow to heed Santayana's adage, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Some big factors in favor of a positive medical practice purchase experience include: the healthcare landscape looks almost nothing like it did in the '90s; physicians appear less resistant to hospital employment, perhaps due, in large part, to demographic factors; the market is open to novel compensation programs such as pay for performance/outcomes; and hospital management teams are adapting to the new normal by including physicians and embracing technology specific to the physician practice realm.

However, no different than undertaking any investment, knowledge is power, and it helps to know what you're getting into. A successful medical practice acquisition plan must include a thorough assessment of the 'acquiree' before the deal is done - in fact, before the deal progresses much past the early stages. 

Business metrics can vary widely and be completely unrelated to the technical proficiency or clinical quality of the physician and his or her patient care.

Some medical practices are well-oiled machines and the owner's motivation for acquisition is a win-win; the transition is smooth and the result is a high-performing practice that causes no headaches for its parent organization. At the other end of the spectrum are...

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