The healthcare industry is undergoing a major transformation. In response to rising costs, shrinking reimbursements, and an ever-changing regulatory environment, hospitals and health systems are left searching for ways to reinvent themselves. For many, the answer is merging with, or acquiring, another hospital or health system.Over the past decade merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has become increasingly more common in the healthcare industry. Consulting firm Kaufman Hall and Associates reported 115 hospital and health system mergers in 2017 alone. And while there were fewer hospital M&As in 2018, those that closed were larger. M&A activity is expected to continue to dominate headlines in 2019.As these deals close, hospitals and health systems are faced with a new, bigger challenge post-merger integration (PMI). PMI is the most critical part of a merger or acquisition; where efficiencies and synergies are captured, and the true value of a deal is realized.Merging organizationsincluding people, processes and technologyinto a newly combined entity is a highly complex process. Given the high stakes, its no wonder significant planning goes into PMI. Yet, no matter how diligently integration teams plan, PMI typically takes much longer than projected. Keeping ORs running smoothly during this process will help the financial performance of the merged hospitals.

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