Mergers & Acquisitions

Guiding a community hospital through a four-year merger process

Client:

A financially struggling community hospital offering care in a Catholic setting

Overview:

Rapid consolidation in the healthcare industry forced the client to seek a strategic business partner to literally save the hospital. For years, the hospital competed against a larger cross-city rival. Over time, the larger hospital began to lure away key doctors and their practices. Meanwhile, a challenging reimbursement environment continued to drain hospital finances.

Strategy and Plan:

Working alongside an investment banking organization charged with seeking a deal, N&A developed and executed a comprehensive strategic communications/crisis management plan over a four-year period. The multi-faceted plan involved communication to the board, employees, physicians, volunteers, donors, regulators, bold holders, elected officials, federal and state governments, and community health advocates. An N&A partner served as official spokesperson during two failed deals and a final, successful partnership. Programs were aimed at keeping everyone informed during a lengthy, complex process and maintaining employee loyalty and morale.

Results:

In the end, the larger hospital acquired the smaller hospital, and through a stewardship agreement, maintained its Catholic status. Nearly 1,000 jobs were saved. Bondholders were paid off, and the pensions of retired employees were saved. Strategic communications in a time of intense uncertainty played a major role in achieving our client's goals and resulted in a successful merger.