How a chain as­sim­i­lates an ac­quired hos­pi­tal

Then comes the hard part of a health­care ac­qui­si­tion—merg­ing the cul­tures as well as the fa­cil­i­ties

Modern Healthcare - - Front Page -

Be­fore he be­came pres­i­dent and CEO of LifePoint Hos­pi­tals in 2006, Bill Car­pen­ter led its ac­qui­si­tion ac­tiv­i­ties as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. So Car­pen­ter, now chair­man and CEO of the com­pany, knows well the im­por­tance of en­sur­ing a smooth tran­si­tion from ac­quir­ing a hos­pi­tal to own­ing and op­er­at­ing it.

“We have seen fum­bles in the hand­off when com­mu­ni­ca­tion breaks down be­tween de­vel­op­ment and op­er­a­tions,” Car­pen­ter says.

To avoid those break­downs, the Brent­wood, Tenn., com­pany started a tran­si­tional ser­vices divi­sion that is present at the cre­ation of a deal, so to speak, work­ing side by side with the de­vel­op­ment team from the mo­ment a ten­ta­tive deal is struck. The transi- tional ser­vices divi­sion, headed by Jeff Seraphine, works with the de­vel­op­ment team once LifePoint be­gins due dili­gence on an ac­qui­si­tion, Car­pen­ter says. The com­pany first em­ployed this ap­proach when it ac­quired 154-bed Rock­dale Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Cony­ers, Ga., in Fe­bru­ary 2009.

One of the prob­lems with a less in­te­grated ap­proach is that op­er­a­tors aren’t as aware of the prom­ises made dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions, Car­pen­ter says. The tran­si­tional ser­vices divi­sion also helps the de­vel­op­ment team to un­der­stand the tar­get hos­pi­tal in or­der to make an ap­pro­pri­ate fi­nal of­fer in the de­fin­i­tive agree­ment and also be­gins work on de­vel­op­ing a strate­gic plan for the first three to five years un­der LifePoint own­er­ship, Car­pen­ter says.

The ex­ec­u­tives at five in­vestor-owned hos-


LifePoint Hos­pi­tals com­pleted its $216.8 mil­lion pur­chase of Sum­ner Re­gional’s par­ent sys­tem last Au­gust.

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