Successful practice mergers require commitment

Thinking about merging your practice with another physician? Discover what you should think about before taking the plunge.

A: In an economically challenging and competitive healthcare marketplace, it is becoming more difficult for many private physicians to survive on their own, especially in light of increasing regulations and skyrocketing overhead costs.

Still, many doctors do not want to cross the line into hospital employment. A merger with another practice might be a solution to avoid hospital employment. If handled properly, a merger between two or more private medical practices can have benefits such as:

Be sure to discuss such difficult issues as practice culture and mergers of information systems, employees, and management staff. Act as though you are starting a new practice and review every expense to determine if you truly need the employee, service, form, etc. Don't just do something because you've always done it.

No merger is easy. To make one successful takes money, time, energy, and commitment on the parts of everyone involved.

Answers to our readers' questions were provided by Thomas J. Ferkovic, RPh, MS, managing director, SS&G Healthcare Services LLC. Send your money management questions to Also engage at and