Healthcare Marketing Conference marketing conference Marketing Conferences Mergers and Consolidation

Insights On Merging Medical Practices Into One Powerful Brand

When you face the proposition of merging several medical practices into a single organization under a shared brand identity, there are any number of landmines you will potentially need to defuse or navigate around. This is particularly true if the practices are physician-owned. Understandably, physician owners are likely to have an emotional connection to their practice identity; their attachment to the practice may make it difficult for them to let go. That same attachment may also impact their perspective on the value of their practice and their perspective on the quality of care they deliver. On several occasions, I’ve worked on the consolidation of practices where the physicians in one practice honestly believe that they are superior practitioners to the physicians in one of the other practices that is being integrated; and they may well be superior practitioners. That perspective can pose problems and will need to be addressed. Whatever the reality, these barriers to be expected. Business owners and founders should be proud of their practice. Frankly, a change in brand identity is difficult for most business owners (and employees). It is hard to let go of something you’ve built with your own hands.

One key to a smooth transition is to help the various stakeholders understand that the legacy and equity they’ve built in these practices is not going away with with the change in brand identity. The new brand will want to build on that equity that already exits and leverage it! To dismiss the past would be foolish in most cases. A smart marketer will want to pay tribute to the past and celebrate the legacy that exists while looking to the future. Not only is this important from a marketing and branding perspective, but it will resonate with internal audiences – physicians and practice employees who have great pride in the old brand. In a merger or consolidation, you should strive to preserve the best attributes and assets of each of the companies that are coming together.

My friend and client, Kelly David of Spectrum Healthcare Partners, is presenting at the Hosptial Marketing National Conference Northeast on October 22nd in Whippany, NJ. She’ll discuss her experience bringing together medical practices and share her winning approach that involves taking into account the mindset of the physician leaders. From Kelly’s perspective, a successful approach involves engaging physician stakeholders in an intentional, strategic, and gradual manner. Please note, this is not about appeasing the physicians; it is about genuinely valuing their experience and input. That is best done slowly and thoughtfully. As Kelly likes to say, “success is a process.” In other words, it doesn’t happen overnight.

If you are attending the HMN Northeast Conference later this month, I encourage you to sit in on Kelly’s presentation. She is an incredibly smart marketer with terrific insights.






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