By in Business

Working in a changing/consolidating industry

Many have been through the same situation of working in an industry that is consolidating, merging and buying on another. The IT field is normally stable but seems to be a bit volatile in certain industries.

For the past few years Healthcare systems have invested heavily in their Electronic Medical Record systems. The main driver was the HiTech act that provided financial incentives for hospitals, physician's offices and ancillary providers to move to an electronic record system.

An added facet was that Medicare payments would be reduced for organizations that did not implement an electronic system. Starting in 2015 the Medicare payments for services will be resduced and will continue on the reuction path each year if the organization does not meet minimum requirements.

While I believe that electronic medical record systems are more efficient, they place a burden on smaller organizations. I have implemented six systems in different healthcare organizations. The price tag for the systems have ranged from $15 million to $146 million.

We are seeing hospital corporations buy smaller hospitals and other systems merging across the US. I'm not suggesting it's bad to have consolidation. I am saying working in a consolidating industry poses challenges most do not experience. I have worked for five institutions that have merged or been acquired by other companies.

Any time the ownership or driving entity changes, it makes employees a bit nervous.

Just my thoughts.

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scheng1 wrote on December 9, 2014, 8:02 AM

it is very stressful for the employees. They have to use new letterheads, new envelopes, and they may have to report to new bosses.

sward wrote on December 9, 2014, 8:06 AM

Scheng1, Tis True and the reporting structure is normally changed across the organization.

Ingrid wrote on December 9, 2014, 8:28 AM

Two hospitals near me are now owned by the same parent company. A year and a half ago, both were independent. From what I have heard, the changes were a bit difficult to get used to, but all in all, things worked out well.

sward wrote on December 9, 2014, 8:32 AM

I think we will see more purchases ad mergers in the healthcare industry in 2015. There are a few organizations that have not started the Electronic Medical Records implementations or the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases version 10) conversion. Without the conversion they will not be able to bill insurance or patients on October 1. This makes for an interesting time in our industry.