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Andrew LevyThe current health care landscape is seeing a surge in consolidations and mergers, according to a news-feature article on the March 2013 edition of PT in Motion, a trade publication of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). This could be a double-edged sword for PTs, says our own Andrew Levy, partner/consultant at our Vantage Clinical Solutions Denver office who was quoted extensively in the article.

Titled “Surviving and Thriving in an Era of Mergers and Consolidation,” the article weighs the pros and cons of the industry’s current “mergers-and-consolidations movement.” It goes on to state that as long as a good balance continues between a need for profits and the focus on patient care, this is “not necessarily a bad thing.”

According to Andrew, there’s two sides to the story. The sale or merger of a physical therapy practice can allow former owners to reinvest in the practice’s growth, diversity, and quality of care. This is certainly good, but on the flip side, seller’s remorse can kick in if the practice owner doesn’t do his/her homework.

“Often, if there’s an outright sale, there is very little the practice owner can do to influence the direction of the practice post-sale,” Levy was quoted in the article. “This can be very difficult. The owner has put his or her blood, sweat, and tears in the practice. It’s their baby, and so they want to make sure it finds a good home.”

If a physical therapist can indeed find this “good home” for his or her practice, Andrew says there’s a definite upside to consolidation.

“A lot of changes are happening right now [in the health care industry], and so there also is a lot of opportunity,” he said. “[Selling or merging] gives you an opportunity to realize some of what you’ve built and earned, but it also allows you to grow, diversify, and to minimize your longer-term risk.”

Andrew discusses taking a “balanced approach” to merger, consolidation, and sales transactions, meaning that practice owners should do their homework to ensure the clinic’s culture and patient care isn’t compromised for the sake of a strong bottom line.

“A good acquirer understands that balance,” Andrew said.

If you’d like to read the entire article, visit the PT in Motion website at www.apta.org/ptinmotion. Sorry, but there’s a pay wall. If you don’t have a login, drop us a line here at Vantage Clinical Solutions, and we’ll be happy to share a copy of the article with you.