How a chain assimilates an acquired hospital
Then comes the hard part of a healthcare acquisition—merging the cultures as well as the facilities
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.