What the health care M&A trend means for 2015

2014 was a robust year for health care mergers and acquisitions, and signs show that trend won't slow down in 2015. As hospitals, insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies and other arms of the health care industry consider joining forces to expand their capabilities, experts say mergers present a window to boost service and prioritize innovation. In Bloomberg Businessweek, John Tozzi writes that consolidation can streamline efficiency, if done correctly. 

"To cut costs, health-care providers are linking family practices and specialists with hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and outpatient clinics," he explains. "The hope is that consolidating services will eliminate redundancies, reduce waste, and improve patient outcomes by making it easier for medical professionals to coordinate care—all objectives of the Affordable Care Act."

From outright mergers to partnerships and networks, connecting existing entities in healthcare can create strong lines of communication between experts in specialties of medicine. However, integrating healthcare administration systems can be a headache for merging organizations if it's not bridged effectively. 

In the Harvard Business Review, David Hayes writes that integration challenges and mistakes can make it harder for professionals to coordinate care on a variety of fronts. From arranging treatments and procedures, processing records and conducting follow-ups, large-scale health care mergers demand painstaking attention to detail to make the transition as smooth and efficient as possible. Because efficiency is the goal of any merger, the merging process is not the time to introduce new problems to the system, particularly for accounts receivable management

Ideally, mergers stand to leave hospitals, clinics and other entities in more optimal condition than they were before the integration. With the best healthcare management systems, administrators can meet objectives in a merger while staying on top of billing.